Engineering Challenges to the Long-Term Operation of the by Committee on the Engineering Challenges to the Long-Term

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The ISS will be a highly visible target for people who would consider ”cracking” its security wall the ultimate challenge. NASA has a well conceived security architecture based on experience with previous systems, and the agency undergoes an independent security evaluation every year. The security architecture has multiple levels of protection, including encryption. The initial encryption is based on the DES algorithm, which is known to have been broken. The P3I plan is to upgrade the algorithm to the triple-DES algorithm, which is a more robust 128-bit system.

NASA’s plan for using robotic devices for the maintenance and servicing of the ISS after Assembly Complete is not as well developed. In fact, a compelling case can be made for incorporating new robotic technology in this phase of the program. Many maintenance and repair tasks will be fundamentally different from assembly tasks, and preparation for these tasks will require skill-based training rather than task-specific training. During ISS assembly, astronauts receive training and practice robotic arm tasks just prior to each mission.

S. S. S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University. John T. Cox is a project manager/consultant at CSC Healthcare. Previously, he served as operations director, deputy manager, and acting program manager of NASA’s Space Station Freedom Program. Dr. Cox trained flight crews and flight controllers for the Apollo and Skylab programs and was flight director for many of the Space Shuttle’s “first of a kind” flights. He also developed organizational changes to bring a business attitude to NASA Headquarters.

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