Autonomy in Future Space Missions

Christopher Rouff

NASA missions are becoming more complicated due to the decreasing cost of spacecraft; the increased sensitivity and data gather capability of onboard instruments, and the need to use multiple spacecraft to accomplish new science. To accommodate these new missions current ground and space operations will need to use new paradigms to implement these new missions while keeping costs and logistics manageable. This paper gives some background on some of the new multi-satellite missions in the near future, challenges of these types of missions, how autonomy could be added to these missions and why adding autonomy will be necessary to make them successful from a science gathering, operational and financial standpoint.

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