Science, Operations and Management of NASA Planetary Science Missions
Planetary science missions are among the most complex systems that humanity builds, are developed over three to ten years, cost hundreds of millions to billions of dollars, and have fixed launch periods. Projects are formulated to address specific scientific objectives that drive planetary science forward, but also are influenced by technical, political and cultural factors. The development of projects are complex affairs that are typically dominated by large engineering teams that are needed to design and build the spacecraft.
Scientists advise the project during this phase by drafting science requirements that define what the spacecraft must do, defining the environments the spacecraft must operate in, and building scientific instruments to make the observations needed to address the scientific objectives. The science team is led by a Project Scientist or Principal Investigator and includes instrument Principal Investigators, Co-Investigators, Participating Scientists and collaborators.
The operations phase of projects typically includes most of the science team participating in an orchestrated process designed to make timely strategic and tactical decisions to acquire the data needed to answer the science objectives of the mission.
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Golombek, Matthew, "Science, Operations and Management of NASA Planetary Science Missions" (2015). Space Studies Colloquium. 61.