Autonomous Navigation in Cislunar Space

The rising interest in returning to the Moon with bring about unparalleled amounts of missions with great scientific and economic potential involving the Moon. But limitations of the current mission setups restrict the ever-growing potential of commercializing space travel to the Moon. Currently, spacecrafts heavily rely on help from the ground for their operations, and scaling up this current infrastructure to accommodate an increase in space traffic is both expensive and impractical. Thus, spacecrafts must break free from their reliance on ground-based stations and live autonomously in cislunar space. This entails finding solutions for autonomous orbit determination, optimal control under uncertainly, and onboard cooperative decision-making among spacecrafts. Achieving a fully autonomous cislunar spacecraft will lead the way for more space traffic between the Earth and the Moon, as well as free-up resources on the ground for more far-reaching missions such as interplanetary travels.