NASA: Remote Agent and Mars Exploration Rovers. My
division developed the Remote Agent
experiment that flew on the Deep Space 1 spacecraft. This
was the first use of autonomous planning, scheduling, and fault
identification onboard a spacecraft. It won the 1999 NASA Software of
the Year award and was cited in two AAAI Presidential addresses (by
Nils Nilsson and by Ron Brachman) as one of the top achievements in
the history of AI. The Remote Agent also served as a proving ground
for some of the automated planning software that my team brought to
the tremendously succesful Mars Exploration
Rovers, or MER (which flew after I left NASA).
I also served as the only computer scientist on both investigation
boards for the two failed Mars '98 missions. President Clinton commented
on these boards that "I think the important thing is that, from our
point of view, NASA responded in an honest, up-front way to their
difficulties with the two Mars probes that didn't work so well ...
and I would like to see their budget increase now." The
investigation boards may or may not have been a cause for the
succesful MER missions, but they were certainly a prerequisite.