This new program will provide a path for bringing key exploration technologies to maturity from the laboratory environment through ground testing, and ultimately to flight testing. Initial demonstration projects are likely to focus on: high-power electric propulsion; autonomous precision landing; in-situ resource utilization (including lunar volatiles characterization); human- robotic systems (including operating robots from planetary orbit); and fission surface power systems. As the Program Office, GRC will coordinate and manage these activities across the nation.
The Exploration Systems Project Office (MX) manages the overall planning, formulation, implementation, and integration of projects and tasks assigned to Glenn Research Center by the Orion CEV Project Office at the Johnson Space Center as agreed to in Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) ZV-06-003. The MOA is an agreement between the GRC Center Director and the Orion CEV Project Manager as a representative of the JSC based Constellation Program. The GRC Orion Projects Office Manager and Service Module Project Office (MXS) Manager serve as reports to the Orion CEV Project Manager at JSC as well as to the Spaceflight Systems Director at GRC.
The Office ensures success by promoting project management excellence and meeting commitments with quality spaceflight products that are on schedule and within budget. These two tenets align with GRC’s strategic goals to “Be Valued as a Leader in Space Flight Systems Development” and “Be Known for Excellence in Project Management”.
The Office will provide the above management functions to the Service Module Project, Integrated Environmental Test, Requirements Integration Management, Crew Module Support, Flight Test Hardware Development, Orion/Ares Interface Management and other tasks assigned by the Orion Project Office.