Astronauts will be required to conduct a number of difficult extravehicular activities (EVAs) on the surface of the moon to carry out exploration missions and to build a lunar base. These moonwalks, which will likely require the use of vehicles and robotics, will be complicated and have limited resources, such as oxygen, electricity and water, at the astronauts disposal.
In order to insure crew safety and improve efficiency, Dr. Jeffrey A. Hoffman and colleagues have developed the Mission Planner, a navigation tool to aid in the planning and real-time execution of lunar EVAs. The Mission Planner uses an algorithm to calculate the most efficient path between EVA locations based on an astronauts metabolic rate.
This project’s goal is to improve the Mission Planner’s ability by to calculate thermal constraints on the lunar surface, which will allow the modeling of thermal stress astronauts will endure during EVAs and during travel in pressurized rovers.