During 1991, NASA approved a revised metric use policy and developed a NASA Metric Transition Plan. This Plan targets the end of 1995 for completion of NASA's metric initiatives. This Plan also identifies future programs that NASA anticipates will use the metric system of measurement. Field installations began metric transition studies in 1991 and will complete them in 1992. Half of NASA's Space Shuttle payloads for 1991, and almost all such payloads for 1992, have some metric-based elements. In 1992, NASA will begin assessing requirements for space-quality piece parts fabricated to U.S. metric standards, leading to development and qualification of high priority parts.
The major NASA metrication activity of 1988 concerned the Space Station. Although the metric system was the baseline measurement system for preliminary design studies, solicitations for final design and development of the Space Station Freedom requested use of the inch-pound system because of concerns with cost impact and potential safety hazards. Under that policy, however use of the metric system would be permitted through waivers where its use was appropriate. Late in 1987, several Department of Defense decisions were made to increase commitment to the metric system, thereby broadening the potential base of metric involvement in the U.S. industry. A re-evaluation of Space Station Freedom units of measure policy was, therefore, initiated in January 1988.
Fiske, Michael R, Carrato, Peter, Roman, Monserrate C, Prater, Tracie J, Edmunson, Jennifer E, and Mueller, Robert P
International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2019; Oct 21, 2019 - Oct 25, 2019; Washington, D.C.; United States
NASA's Centennial Challenges program uses prize competitions with the goal of accelerating innovation in the aerospace industry. Competitions in the Centennial Challenges portfolio have previously focused on advancements in space robotics, regolith excavation, bio-printing, astronaut suit design, small satellites, and solar-powered vehicles. NASA's Three Dimensional (3D) Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge represents a partnership between NASA and the non-profit partner: Bradley University, with co-sponsors Caterpillar, Bechtel, Brick and Mortar Ventures, the American Concrete Institute, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) to spur development in automated additive construction technologies. The challenge asks teams to design and construct a scaled and simulated Martian habitat using indigenous materials and large scale 3D automated printing systems. Phase 1 of the competition, held in 2015, was an architectural design competition for habitat concepts that could be 3D printed. Phase 2, completed in 2017, asked teams to develop feedstocks from indigenous materials and hydrocarbon polymer recyclables, and demonstrate automated printing systems to manufacture these feedstocks into test specimens to assess mechanical strength. This paper will discuss the Phase 3 competition, focusing on technology outcomes that can potentially be infused into both terrestrial and planetary construction applications. The Phase 3 competition was divided into two sub-competitions: 1) virtual construction, where teams created a high fidelity building information model (BIM) of their 3D-printed habitat design and 2) the construction competition, which required teams to 3D print a structural foundation and subject materials samples to freeze/thaw testing and impact testing (level 1), produce a habitat element and complete a hydrostatic test (level 2), and additively manufacture a 1:3 scale habitat onsite in a head to head competition at Caterpillar, inc.'s Edwards Demonstration & Learning Center near Peoria, Illinois over the course of three days (level 3). While the Phase 2 competition focused primarily on the development of novel feedstocks and robotic printing systems, Phase 3 emphasized the scale-up of these systems and autonomous operation (demonstrating the capability to operate systems on precursor missions prior to the arrival of crew, or terrestrially in field operation settings where human tending of a manufacturing system may be limited). The Phase 3 virtual construction levels yielded a number of novel habitat designs, including both modular habitats and vertically-oriented habitat concepts. The Phase 3 construction competition also challenged teams to autonomously place penetrations and interfacing elements in additively manufactured structures. The paper will emphasize potential applications for the new materials and technologies developed under the umbrella of the competition within NASA's portfolio and in Earth-based applications such as disaster response and infrastructure improvement.