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May 1, 2002

Michael Mewhinney

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-3937 or 650/604-9000



Three prominent scientists from NASA Ames Research Center will be among the featured speakers at a conference in May designed to encourage dialogue and facilitate networking for mission operations.

Co-sponsored by NASA and the Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Research (IAIR), "Mission.Systems 2002: Challenges for the 21st Century," will be held May 29-31 at the Hilton Resort and Marina in Nassau Bay next to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston.

"As a forum, Mission.Systems 2002 represents an unprecedented opportunity for interaction between all those supporting mission operations and the operations centers," said conference chairman Steven Gonzalez of the Johnson Space Center. "We hope that the resulting dialogues and partnerships will advance new methods of approach and operations technologies for NASA and the international operations community."

Among the featured speakers at the conference will be Judith Orasanu, manager of the Human and Organizational Risk Management element of the Engineering for Complex System (ECS) program at Ames. Orasanu is scheduled to discuss "Risk Perception and Risk Management in Aviation" at 1:10 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 29, the first day of the three-day conference.

"Judith’s groundbreaking work in crew resource management in aviation, which is now standardized in the airline industry’s training programs, is a very nice connection to mission operations," said Patricia Jones, deputy chief of the Human Factors Research and Technology Division and manager of the Knowledge Engineering for Safety and Success project for the ECS program at Ames.

On Thursday, May 30, Jones is scheduled to discuss "Distributed Teams and Operations Risk Management," at 2 p.m. CDT. Jones also is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion entitled "Control Center Constellation for the Next Century" starting at 3:40 p.m. CDT.

"There are many critical research issues in operations environments that are at the intersection of advanced automation and knowledge management technologies and the human teams and organizations that use those technologies to make decisions and perform their mission," said Jones. "The ECS program is especially interested in modeling risk management practices and providing tools to enable more effective risk identification, assessment and mitigation. Modeling the risks related to human performance, teams, and organizations is a great match to the Human Factors Research and Technology Division.

On the third and final day of the conference, Friday, May 31, Kelly Snook of Ames is scheduled to participate in a session starting at 2:50 p.m. CDT entitled "Engaging the World’s Interest." The discussion will focus on encouraging new collaborations between international space programs, providing opportunities for contributions by emerging space programs, and organizing educational and entertainment programs intended to encourage young people to get involved.

The conference will focus on three themes. The first day’s theme, "Operations: Past, Present and Future," will examine the evolution of the current mission control concept, lessons in previous space operations, ideas for future mission control centers and mission control centers that have been developed in industry.

The second day’s theme, "Internationalizing Operations and Research Infrastructure," will focus on technologies and processes to enable distributed and international operations. Among the technologies to be discussed will be networking, storage technology, knowledge management and collaborative tools. The second day will also focus on the dissemination, integration and sharing of information among international offices.

The third day’s theme, "International Collaboration and Partnership," will examine social issues, including training of international teams, dealing with intercultural differences, engaging the world’s interest in space, planning for the future and establishing new laws and policy for space operations.

The conference will conclude with a group discussion, "Reaching the Vision: Paths to Inverting the Paradigm." Additional information about the conference and the registration process is available at:



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