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Program Management & Execution

Encyclopedia
Updated Feb 12, 2024

Introduction

Program management, integration, and execution play pivotal roles in the success of human spaceflight missions. The intricate nature of these missions, involving numerous elements, complex technologies, and diverse teams, demands a structured approach to ensure seamless coordination and collaboration. With decades of experience in complex human spaceflight program management, Johnson Space Center (JSC) leads the way in executing human spaceflight exploration. JSC experts establish clear milestones, integrate with partners, allocate resources efficiently, and manage risks effectively. JSC program leadership teams have enabled the successful execution of our Nation’s human spaceflight programs, including the Apollo Program, the Space Shuttle Program, and the International Space Station Program. Now we are embarking on a new era of exploration further into the solar system with the Human Landing System Program, Gateway Program and Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program. JSC is at the forefront of advancing human spaceflight commercialization through initiatives such as the Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program and the Commercial Low Earth Orbit Destinations Program, facilitating collaboration with commercial partners to drive innovation, exploration, and sustainable development beyond Earth’s atmosphere. We look forward to pushing the boundaries of human exploration with our partners. 

Program Lifecycle Management

Human Exploration Program Formulation 

Overview | Within the Exploration Architecture, Integration and Science (EAIS) Directorate at JSC, the Exploration Development Integration (EDI) Division, provides expertise to human space flight programs for systems and program integration activities supporting program formulation, design, development, and operational life cycle activities. 

Details | The Exploration Development Integration Division (EDI) delivers systems engineering, cross-program integration, and operations integration support to the entire Moon to Mars enterprise, supporting all Artemis programs. EDI supports design, development and operational life cycle activities and provides integration in support of the Artemis Missions and the Moon to Mars enterprise. 

End-to-End Mission Planning 

Overview | Individual mission planning covers all mission preparation activities required for safe and successful mission operations. NASA JSC Flight Operations Directorate (FOD) leads and executes all phases of NASA human spaceflight operations team. 

Details |

  • Understands strategic objectives, integrates the mission requirements among domestic and international partners and defines the mission concept
  • Participates in required integration planning at both the individual mission level and across missions and programs 
  • Prepares, covers nominal, contingency, and emergency operations planning 
  • Performs trajectory design tasks such as ascent design (launch windows, profiles, aborts, etc.), rendezvous design (burn plans), and any unique analysis assessments
  • Develops operations products such as flight rules, flight techniques, launch commit criteria, ground rules & constraints, mission timelines, crew and ground procedures, and flight system performance predictions 
  • Defines an integration plan: software integration, operations safety integration, operations reviews, and certification of flight readiness (CoFR) 

Human Exploration Program Requirements Development, Verification and Validation 

Overview | Within the Exploration Architecture, Integration and Science (EAIS) Directorate at JSC, the Exploration Development Integration Division (EDI) integrates processes and products across human exploration program and project life cycles. Systems Engineering expertise in requirements development, verification and validation is available. 

Details | Within the Exploration Architecture, Integration and Science (EAIS) Directorate at JSC, the Exploration Development Integration Division (EDI) integrates processes and products across human exploration program and project lifecycles.

  • Concept of operations development 
  • Requirements development
  • Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE) 
  • Requirements verification and validation 
  • Integrated system risk management 
  • Development and execution of certification of flight readiness processes  
  • Integrated avionics and software, imagery, and human rating 

Human Systems Engineering and Integration 

Overview | Human Systems Engineering and Integration (HSE&I) is a disciplined approach to ensure a human-centric focus through the definition, implementation, integration, and operations of a system or vehicle. 

Details | At NASA JSC, the Human Systems Engineering and Integration (HSE&I) Division provides a full spectrum of functions across the entire project lifecycle to ensure crew health and safety, including Human Systems Integration (HSI), functional architecture definition, concept of operations, development and management of requirements and interfaces, design integration, test planning, verification and validation, flight certification, configuration and data management, as well as risk identification and management. As an aspect of HSE&I, HSI further establishes interdisciplinary and comprehensive management and technical processes to ensure knowledge of human capabilities and limitations are accounted for throughout the project lifecycle. 

Human Exploration Cross-Program Integration 

Overview | Within the Exploration Architecture, Integration and Science (EAIS) Directorate at JSC, the Exploration Development Integration Division (EDI) provides expertise in integrating complex human spaceflight programs across common missions and architectures. 

Details | The Exploration Development Integration Division (EDI) delivers systems engineering, cross-program integration, and operations integration support to the entire Moon to Mars enterprise, supporting all Artemis programs. EDI supports design, development and operational life cycle activities and provides integration in support of the Artemis Missions and the Moon to Mars enterprise. 

  • Orion cross-program integration and crew systems integration 
  • Gateway risk management and human rating support
  • Human Landing System (HLS) cross-program integration and leadership of the Crew Compartment Program Office 
  • Moon to Mars System Engineering and Integration support 

Requirements and Verification Development and Closure 

Overview | Safety and Mission Assurance assists in developing, writing, tailoring, and integrating requirements and verifications, especially related to safety. 

Details |

  • Expertise in writing, tailoring, and integrating vehicle requirements affecting and affected by safety concerns
  • Expertise in developing verification statements and agreements to match the requirements
  • Expertise in evaluating safety reports and design reports to confirm requirement has been met as stated in the verification statement 

System Safety 

Overview | Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) offers safety and risk evaluation and communication and expertise in evaluating safety risks from all spacecraft systems. 

Details |

  • Electrical, EEE parts, propulsion, structural, communication, computer-based control systems (both hardware architecture and software safety), environmental systems (temperature, humidity, air quality), pyrotechnics
  • Provide system safety support for all milestone reviews associated with spacecraft and hardware certification
  • Provide training in integrating safety into major and minor projects 

Probabilistic Risk Assessment 

Overview | Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) identifies and quantifies risks in business, engineering, operations, and manufacturing systems. Our team provides the customer with the analysis and recommendations to make informed decisions to help mitigate risks that lead to loss of life, physical assets, or production time. 

Details | We use proven Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) tools and techniques along with extensive libraries of historical operations and failure data to quantitatively derive the probability of undesirable events. 

  • Requirements Development 
  • Design Analysis 
  • Requirements Verification 
  • For New Developments – the ideal time to conduct a PRA is at the beginning of the design process to incorporate the necessary safety and risk avoidance measures throughout the development phase 
  • For Existing Systems – PRA can be applied to existing systems to identify and prioritize risks associated with operations. Risk assessments can evaluate the impact of system changes and help avoid compromises in quality or reliability while increasing productivity.
  • For Incident Response - In the event of unexpected downtime or an accident, our team can assess the cause of the failure and develop appropriate mitigation plans to minimize the probability of comparable events in the future. 

Certification of Flight Readiness (CoFR) Process 

Overview | The Certification of Flight Readiness (CoFR) process includes a formal process of safety risk review and communication to decision makers. 

Details | NASA JSC can provide training for the process of flight readiness for vehicles: risk assessments, vehicle anomalies, flight information, and safety watch items. A key component of training is communicating risk information to decision makers. 

Project Planning & Control

Human Exploration Program Project Planning and Control (PP&C) 

Overview | NASA JSC provides program planning and control expertise for large, complex human spaceflight programs. 

Details | Within the Exploration Architecture, Integration and Science (EAIS) Directorate at JSC, the Strategic Business Integration Office provides expertise for complex human spaceflight program planning and control functions. 

Complex Program Configuration and Data Management 

Overview | Human Exploration Program Development and Execution provides Complex Program Configuration and Data Management. 

Details | The Exploration Development Integration (EDI) Division provides expertise and matrixed support: mission definition, preparation, and execution, payload integration, communication and networks, and post-mission assessments. This team also provides system protection and threat assessment for human exploration operational systems. 

Independent Cost, Schedule, and Risk Analysis for Complex Programs 

Overview | Within NASA JSC Exploration Architecture, Integration and Science Directorate, the Strategic Business Integration Office provides enabling capabilities for human space exploration enterprises and programs. They are at the forefront of developing and deploying cutting edge cost, schedule, and technical risk assessment and analyses for complex programs and projects and independent program analysis for Agency stakeholders to inform procurement strategies, formulation activities, program execution, and independent assessments across the program life cycle. 

Details |

  • The Strategic Business Integration Office provides cost, schedule, and technical risk assessment and analyses for complex programs and projects
  • Provides risk-informed joint confidence level (JCL) assessments, earned value management (EVM), and cost confidence assessments 

Cost and Schedule Data Analytics and Tool Development 

Overview | NASA JSC Exploration Architecture, Integration and Science (EAIS) Directorate’s Strategic Business Integration Office is at the forefront of developing and deploying cutting edge tools to support business analytics for complex human spaceflight programs. 

Details | Business analytics tool development for complex human spaceflight programs 

Orion Program Manager Mark Geyer stands in front of the Orion medium fidelity mockup in Building 9 at Johnson Space Center in Houston on Nov. 10, 2011.
HOUSTON, Texas – NASA’s Stephanie Schierholz opens a presentation about the agency’s Commercial Crew Program highlighting key development activities, test plans and objectives for achieving certification of two American crew transportation systems with Dr. Ellen Ochoa, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, Commercial Crew Program Manager Kathy Lueders, Boeing Space Exploration Vice President and General Manager John Elbon, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell and NASA Astronaut Mike Fincke.
In the Press Site auditorium of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Joel Montalbano, International Space Station Program manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, speaks to media at a post-launch news conference following the liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The flight is a commercial resupply services mission for NASA to the International Space Station. SpaceX CRS-14 lifted off atop the Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying supplies and equipment and new science experiments for technology research.