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space-missionplanning for National Aeronauticsand SpaceAdministration (NASA).We use visual technologiesto crystallize the creative efforts of a project team from metafact to artifact through the use of visual media. The transition from concept to realityis often best accomplishedwith images. This has always been the case;however, there are very few professionalpractices whose essentialbusiness is ‘’visualtechnology .”JF&A, currently a support contractor to NASA, provides these services in the areas of space-missionplanning and, most recently, in support of the First Lunar Outpost (FLO)activities. CurrentSpaceExploration PlanningActivities The NASA Exploration Program Office (EXPO)is currentlyformulating a “return to the moon, this time to stay, and then ajourney to Mars.”The current generation of visionaryscientists, engineers and artistsworking on this endeavoris utilizing the latest technclogical tools (i.e.scientificvisualization ) to illuminate the goals of the spaceexploration program. The computer as an imaging device allows a new and unique set of attributes that integrate space-missionscience , technology and art. During the recent NASA FLO design program, preliminarycomputer -aideddesign (CAD) documents of the mission-system elements were created and derived from the system’s engineering process. Teams of up to 100people from various disciplinesworked in a dynamic and changing engineering environment . As the system evolved, CAD documents were updated on an hourly basis and used by the group to define candidate-proposedsolutions and to combine the vast amount of information into a Design Reference Mission (DRM).In this case, a computer-image database kept track of the DRM as it evolved,providing focusfor the group and identifjmg problems that were not apparent when analyzingwords and numbers alone. Discrepanciesin interference and issues such as propellant volume and payload integration became apparent immediatelyin computer images,which can visualize extremelyprecise data. More importantly , computer imaging provided a visual manifestation of work in progress-a process that focused the group’sactivitiesand converted a vast amount of data into a cohesiveendpoint . In the case of the FLO DRM for the Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (Color Plate A No. 2), more than 400 component elementswere combined in the database. When this data was arranged Fi.3. LloydWalker,techuicalillustrationof the NASA F i t LunarOutpost (FLO)created withWDI PresenterProfessionalsoftware,1992.Astronautstransferto the habitat lander from the piloted lander (background)fora 45day stayon the Moon. Once the surfacemission is completed, the crewwiutransferback t othe piloted lander forreturn to the earth. The habitat is left on the surface andusedformany missions.(SeeAbstnlctbyJack Frassanito.) and reconfigured, designerswere able to show the mission in its various scenarios from launch to lunar-surface operation (Fig.3). Speed of execution is another valuable attribute of computer-generated imaging, In the past, work in a conventional artistic medium had to be done seriallyand over a period of many months after the completion of the engineering work. In the case of the NASA FLO mission planning, computer visualizationwas integral to designing the mission, as high-resolution (2000X 1600line) images documented the design process. This high-speedprocess provided the artwork with a timely and programmaticrelevance that more conventional media so often are unable to provide. Conclusion As spaceexploration mission planning becomes more complex, higher resolution computer-aidedvisualizationwill become the tool that allows large and diverse technical teams to efficiently coalesce their vast amounts of data into cohesivedesign reference missions. This engineering artwork is both technically significantand artisticallyrich. As a body of technical work, it educates both technology-trained and -untrained individualsin much the same way that artists’works have portrayed and predicted the discoveriesof past generations of explorers. POLYHEDRON PERSPECTIVE: T H E TOTAL PICTURE Dick A. Termes, Rt. 2, Box 435b, Spearfish,SD 57783,U.S.A. Received 28 October 1991.Acceptedforpub lication by RogerF. Malina. Spheresto Polyhedrons for the Plane My Leonard0 article, “Six-PointPerspective on the Sphere: The Termesphere” [l],explainshow the sphere, with the use of six-pointperspective, can hold an entire visual environment on its surface. A polyhedron can also enclose an entire visual environment. Polyhedrons do not have the continuous flow that sphericalsurfacesdo; rather, they have edges,verticesand planar surfaces.But polyhedrons do have an advantage:all their surfacescan be viewed simultaneously on one plane (Fig.4).I restrict my discussion here to regular polyhe252 Abstracts DIRECTIONS FOR FOLDING 1. SCOT* or cut half-way tri 2...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 252-254
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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