Mission-aware payloads offer the potential for autonomous platforms to achieve unprecedented levels of accuracy and information density in the sensing products they acquire, package, and deliver to remote operators around the globe. Sentix' successful development of a "smart payload" that is mission and platform aware relative to an operating environment will enable NASA to apply this technology to long-duration earth science missions collecting imagery (EO/IR/HS) across a variety of terrains and atmospheric conditions. It is important to note that integration of sensing intelligence into payload systems will yield implications well beyond terrestrial / earth-bound applications. Space robotics used for exploration of other worlds will present the same, if not significantly greater, challenges with regards to C2 and data links. Because the optimal sensing capabilities can be realized in both airborne and surface environments, robotic platforms in both domains will benefit, yielding rovers, winged fliers, and rotor / flapping flight explorers that can operate with substantially greater autonomy than is currently available to NASA.