Published: April 21, 2018

Authors: Jack O. Burns, Benjamin Mellinkoff, Matthew Spydell, Terrence Fong, David A. Kring, William D. Pratt, Timothy Cichan, Christine M. Edwards

Abstract: NASA and ESA are preparing a series of human exploration missions using the four-person Orion crew vehicle, launched by NASA's Space Launch System, and a Lunar Orbital Platform - Gateway (LOP-G) that enable long duration (>30 days) operations in cis-lunar space. This will provide an opportunity for science and exploration from the lunar surface facilitated by low latency surface telerobotics. We describe two precursor experiments, using the International Space Station (ISS) and a student-built teleoperated rover, which are laying the groundwork for remote operation of rovers on the Moon by astronauts aboard the LOP-G. Such missions will open the lunar far side, among other sites, for exploration and scientific exploration. We describe examples of two high-priority, lunar science missions that can be conducted using low latency surface telerobotics including an astronaut-assisted far side sample return and the deployment/construction of a low frequency radio telescope array to observe the first stars and galaxies (Cosmic Dawn). The lessons learned from these lunar operations will feed-forward to future low latency telepresence missions on Mars. Read more...