NASA joined the European Space Agency (ESA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for the sixth Trilateral Safety and Mission Assurance Conference (TRISMAC) May 17-20, 2021. The trio met virtually to focus on the theme, “Safety and Mission Assurance in Diversifying Space,” which included technical presentations by experts in their fields from government, academia and industry on innovative tools, technologies and methodologies to assure safety and mission success.
“Despite being unable to gather in person this year, the conference was still extremely valuable,” said Matt Forsbacka, director of NASA’s Mission Assurance Standards and Capabilities Division and conference panelist. “It’s an important opportunity to hear what’s on the minds of experts across the world to expand our perspectives and share ideas. This year really focused on the slogan of ‘new space’ and brought forth a lot of great discussions on where we’re headed collectively as a space community.”
In addition to a session on lessons learned in operations, the conference included a number of forward-looking topics, such as effective management and automation of assurance in the Digital Transformation, Additive Manufacturing, Quality, and Model-Based Mission Assurance (MBMA).
“MBMA, part of the evolving Model-Based Anything or MBx paradigm, will be a technology/methodology accelerator to seamlessly and rapidly connect authoritative sources of information that is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable — that is, F.A.I.R — to workflows, processes and decision-making points over the course of mission design, development and operational activities,” said Tony DiVenti, NASA’s Reliability and Maintainability technical fellow and MBx thrust lead.
MBx and MBMA are both opportunities to help agencies transform data or knowledge sharing capabilities.
A panel discussion on sustainability in space garnered particular interest from attendees, as international cooperation and involvement from other space faring nations shines increased light on the topic as utilization of limited near Earth space increases.
The conference chairs from ESA, JAXA and NASA noted MBMA activity for its excellent interaction between the agencies; the Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical Parts activities and presentation; and the importance of the data sharing challenges facing the agencies. The positive reflections from the leadership of the agencies at the close of the conference can be attributed to the excellent job of the overall program committee members from the participating agencies and the administrative support.
According to JAXA, TRISMAC “is an opportunity to exchange safety and mission assurance information among space agencies and space-related industries.” TRISMAC started in 2008 and is held every three years; 2021’s conference, hosted by JAXA, marked the first virtual conference. ESA will host the next conference in 2024.