Most spacecraft today are neither piloted nor fully automated. Instead, spacefaring vessels are directed by spaceflight navigators on Earth, through a collection of interfaces, piloting algorithms, and pathways planned partially in advance.
Mission designers, trajectory designers, and spaceflight navigators develop their own tools to make their workflows more efficient. Synthesizing these tools, techniques, and practices under the banner of a mission is a challenge that spaceflight mission designers and navigators must constantly negotiate.
The MDNav prototypes were informed by meetings with various mission design and navigation specialists at JPL. Our goal was to integrate existing mission design workflows into a visualization tool, and to design options for manipulating and organizing trajectories in 3D.