Deep space exploration

NASA reaches new frontier with standards for deep space exploration

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NASA has teamed up with International Space Station project partners to draft potential standards governing future deep space exploration.

These efforts focus on seven areas considered critical to global cooperation: avionics, communications, environmental control and life support systems, power systems, rendezvous systems, robotics, and thermal systems. By standardizing the approach to exploration platforms, NASA and its partners hope to support a unified approach without restricting the actual design potential therein.

The standards build on the existing goodwill that contributed to global efforts to create the International Docking System Standard – which provided compatible universal docking systems for the International Space Station.

“Inputs from the global community will improve the quality of interoperability standards and help enable the development of the systems needed to achieve global exploration goals,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of the Exploration Missions Directorate and of NASA human operations. “Having compatible hardware will allow different designs to work with each other. This could enable crew rescue missions and support for any spacecraft built to these standards.

The partners hope to have a final version of these standards by this summer.