Axiom Space Selects Stottler Henke’s Aurora AI Software to Manage Astronaut Schedules

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Jim Ong

New AI Software Will Optimize the Use of Precious Crew Time During Space Missions


SAN MATEO, CA, December 12, 2023 – Axiom Space, a leading provider of human spaceflight services and developer of human-rated space infrastructure, has selected Stottler Henke’s Aurora AI software to manage the schedules of their astronauts during space missions. Axiom Space’s operational use of Aurora software is planned to support future missions. Aurora software will ensure that crew tasks are scheduled efficiently to maximize crew effectiveness, while ensuring that all space operations constraints are satisfied.

Axiom Space’s astronauts perform a wide array of activities, including research, education, and outreach. Because of the complexity and protocols involved with supporting astronauts while working in space, crew time is incredibly valuable. Every minute of an astronaut’s day is scheduled before the mission and then re-scheduled as necessary based on real-time operational needs.

Historically, scheduling and rescheduling has primarily been manual, bolstered by tools and utilities to make changes easier and to catch logical issues. The goal in using Aurora for crew scheduling is to retain the control and personal touch of manual scheduling, but to make the scheduling and updating process faster, easier, and more robust.

In early missions, much of the scheduling process will still include significant manual work. Over time, Aurora’s logic and user-specified preferences will be refined to allow more and more automation.

“Building a great plan is typically a time-consuming process and requires constant juggling of resources and objectives,” said Anthony Carbone, Lead of Mission Planning & Operations Software at Axiom Space. “Scheduling software can track and manage all of that way more efficiently than an individual operator. In the age of commercializing space, I’m committed to finding opportunities to reduce overhead costs while simultaneously increasing mission efficiency and maximizing customer satisfaction. With Aurora serving as the core of our scheduling software, I am confident that my team can deliver on our goals.”

Aurora software is the world’s leading planning and scheduling software solution that combines expert knowledge with artificial intelligence. Aurora was originally developed to help NASA tackle difficult, mission-critical planning problems—by using artificial intelligence technologies to encode and apply extensive domain knowledge and decision rules to generate more efficient schedules.

Aurora software is unique in its ability to produce highly efficient schedules that satisfy complex constraints. Conventional scheduling systems often support only basic timing constraints between tasks. Without a complete and accurate model of the actual constraints that schedules must satisfy, simpler systems cannot even determine whether a candidate schedule is valid. Aurora enables specification and enforcement of complex temporal and resource constraints, so it can schedule projects that other tools cannot even model.

Most other scheduling systems use simple rules to select and schedule tasks and assign resources to carry them out. These rules usually consider only limited information about the tasks, resources, and constraints, so they generate schedules that are far from optimal. Some other systems rely on mathematical optimization. However, the time needed to search systematically for an optimal schedule increases exponentially with the number of tasks and constraints, so this approach is impractical for large, complex operations. Aurora solves problems effectively by modeling complex constraints and resource requirements and by encoding and applying built-in and domain-specific knowledge and decision-making rules. This knowledge-rich approach enables Aurora to combine human expertise with intelligent algorithms to generate superior schedules.

Aurora manages the most demanding operations for aerospace organizations like The Boeing Company, US Air Force, US Space Force, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Bombardier Learjet, Spirit AeroSystems, Korea Aerospace Industries, and Alaska Airlines. Additional customers include General Dynamics Electric Boat, Massachusetts General Hospital, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the US Navy. For example, Boeing selected Aurora to help them manage their Boeing 787 Dreamliner™ airliner assembly operations and 60 other commercial and defense applications.

Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. applies cognitive modeling, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced technologies to solve problems that defy solution using traditional approaches. Stottler Henke develops intelligent software solutions that provide advanced capabilities for planning and scheduling, autonomy, knowledge management and retrieval, education and training, and machine learning and data analytics. Stottler Henke has received numerous awards for its innovative AI solutions. At a White House ceremony, Stottler Henke was one of 18 businesses and six individuals who received the prestigious Tibbetts award for the critical role they played in research and development for the government and for their success driving innovation and creating new jobs. Email:  Web:

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