Introducing the Pensieve, a responsive web platform that helps technicians at NASA optimize rocket assembly through surfacing relevant tribal knowledge. 

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The Background 

NASA is currently building the SLS, the most powerful rocket mankind has ever seen. 


Background
 

NASA is currently building the SLS, the most powerful rocket mankind has ever seen. 

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Our Mission

The sheer number of moving parts introduces many opportunities for optimization. 


Our Mission

The sheer number of moving parts introduces many opportunities for optimization. 

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The Solution

Our final prototype surfaces relevant, contextual tribal knowledge to technicians.


The Solution

Our final prototype surfaces relevant, contextual tribal knowledge to technicians.

Context

Building modern-era spacecraft requires a monumental effort of collaboration. This nationwide synchronization of aerospace companies and manufacturers demands a robust management system that ensures all rocket components work seamlessly with each other.

To guarantee standardized processes for building the SLS (Space Launch System), NASA utlizes WADs (work authorization documents) to ensure that all organizations follow procedure rigorously. As flight components begin to arrive at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for ground processing, it becomes extremely important for WADs to be clearly written and comprehensive.

Building modern-era spacecraft requires a monumental effort of collaboration. This nationwide synchronization of aerospace companies and manufacturers demands a robust management system that ensures all rocket components work seamlessly with each other.

To guarantee standardized processes for building the SLS (Space Launch System), NASA utlizes WADs (work authorization documents) to ensure that all organizations follow procedure rigorously. As flight components begin to arrive at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for ground processing, it becomes extremely important for WADs to be clearly written and comprehensive.

Problem Space

Engineers and Technicians at Kennedy Space Center use WADs for procedure execution, but the complexity of moving parts and overwhelming data create hidden pockets of tribal knowledge. 

When heritage technicians left NASA after the Shuttle program, many WADs were not updated. This led to a loss of knowledge when NASA started building the SLS 7 years later. Multiple interview subjects stressed the importance of having technicians consult WAD authors. Technicians have detailed knowledge of work processes, but no formal process exists to ensure this knowledge loops back to WAD authors.

Engineers and Technicians at Kennedy Space Center use WADs for procedure execution, but the complexity of moving parts and overwhelming data create hidden pockets of tribal knowledge. 

When heritage technicians left NASA after the Shuttle program, many WADs were not updated. This led to a loss of knowledge when NASA started building the SLS 7 years later. Multiple interview subjects stressed the importance of having technicians consult WAD authors. Technicians have detailed knowledge of work processes, but no formal process exists to ensure this knowledge loops back to WAD authors.

Final Design

Final Design

Our final prototype surfaces relevant, contextual tribal knowledge to technicians. We found tribal knowledge to be a key, yet tenuous component of work processes at NASA. Our design aims to standardize tribal knowledge in a method compatible with current workflows.

We believe that tribal knowledge can be better managed to empower technicians and help them identify problems.

Our final prototype surfaces relevant, contextual tribal knowledge to technicians. We found tribal knowledge to be a key, yet tenuous component of work processes at NASA. Our design aims to standardize tribal knowledge in a method compatible with current workflows.

We believe that tribal knowledge can be better managed to empower technicians and help them identify problems.