TGCC Chapter Program December 2018
Evaluating Complex Human Lunar and Mars Spaceflight Architectures”
Sending humans into space for missions to the moon and beyond may present engineers and managers with the most complex systems challenge yet encountered. Both lunar and Mars human mission architectures are composed of hundreds of interconnecting decisions that cross the boundaries among engineering, politics, risk and budget. John Connolly has been studying human exploration architecture for most of his 30+ year NASA career and will present his thoughts on the complexity, interconnectedness, and decision making that goes into the evaluation of future missions to the moon and Mars.
John F. Connolly, P.E.
John Connolly is currently leading NASA’s Human Mars Study team, which provides expert analysis of human Mars architectural options to inform NASA decisions on human Mars missions. Connolly’s team represents the Agency’s long term architectural perspective in coordination and support of technology investment and development activities for NASA’a Human Spaceflight, Robotic Space Mission, and Space Technology organizations.
From 2014 to 2016, Connolly was detailed from NASA to serve as the Director of International Space University’s Space Studies Programs, where he planned and executed ISU’s flagship programs that are hosted in different cities around the world each year.
Prior to his detachment to ISU, he served as Exploration Chief Scientist for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.
Connolly has held a broad range of management and engineering positions related to future human exploration planning at both NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and NASA HQ in Washington, DC. He has served as, Deputy Project Manager and Vehicle Engineering Manager for the Altair Lunar Lander Project, Deputy Manager of JSC’s Exploration and Mission Systems Office, Deputy of the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) Team, Special Assistant to JSC’s Astronaut Office and Destination System lead for the Agency’s Human Spaceflight Architecture Team (HAT).
Mr. Connolly’s NASA career has been devoted to defining future systems that will send human crews beyond Low Earth Orbit, return them to the moon, and lead them to Mars and beyond.