Space Exploration and Weather Collection

Since a human first stepped foot on the moon four decades ago, great strides have been made in understanding what is required to support an enduring presence in space. These reports will enable the U.S. space program to deliver on new exploration initiatives, excite the public, and address the questions of space weather risk assessment and management. This collection develops a forward-looking portfolio of research that will provide the basis for recapturing the value of human spaceflight and once again place the United States at the forefront of space exploration for the global good.


Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society ( 2013 )

From the interior of the Sun, to the upper atmosphere and near-space environment of Earth, and outward to a region far beyond Pluto where the Sun's influence wanes, advances during the past decade in space physics and solar physics--the disciplines NASA refers to as heliophysics--have yielded spectacular insights into the phenomena that affect our home in space. Solar and Space Physics, from the National Research Council's (NRC's) Committee for a ...[more]


New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics ( 2010 )

Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically during the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to physics, chemistry, biology, and computer science. Based on a broad and comprehensive survey of scientific opportunities, infrastructure, and organization in a national and international context, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and ...[more]


Panel Reports--New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics ( 2011 )

Every 10 years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, titled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides overall priorities and recommendations for the field as a whole based on a broad and comprehensive examination of scientific opportunities, infrastructure, and organization in a national and international context. Panel Reports--New Worlds, ...[more]


Severe Space Weather Events--Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts:A Workshop Report ( 2008 )

The adverse effects of extreme space weather on modern technology--power grid outages, high-frequency communication blackouts, spacecraft anomalies--are well known and well documented, and the physical processes underlying space weather are also generally well understood. Less well documented and understood, however, are the potential economic and societal impacts of the disruption of critical technological systems by severe space weather. As a first step toward determining the socioeconomic ...[more]

Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond ( 2007 )

Natural and human-induced changes in Earth's interior, land surface, biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans affect all aspects of life. Understanding these changes requires a range of observations acquired from land-, sea-, air-, and space-based platforms. To assist NASA, NOAA, and USGS in developing these tools, the NRC was asked to carry out a "decadal strategy" survey of Earth science and applications from space that would develop the key scientific ...[more]


Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 ( 2011 )

In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon's poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life could have emerged. Liquid methane rain falls on Saturn's moon Titan, creating rivers, lakes, and geologic landscapes with uncanny resemblances to Earth's. Vision and Voyages ...[more]


An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars ( 2007 )

Three recent developments have greatly increased interest in the search for life on Mars. The first is new information about the Martian environment including evidence of a watery past and the possibility of atmospheric methane. The second is the possibility of microbial viability on Mars. Finally, the Vision for Space Exploration initiative included an explicit directive to search for the evidence of life on Mars. These ...[more]


The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems ( 2007 )

The search for life in the solar system and beyond has to date been governed by a model based on what we know about life on Earth (terran life). Most of NASA's mission planning is focused on locations where liquid water is possible and emphasizes searches for structures that resemble cells in terran organisms. It is possible, however, that life exists that is based on chemical reactions that ...[more]


Preparing for the High Frontier:The Role and Training of NASA Astronauts in the Post-Space Shuttle Era ( 2011 )

As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) retires the Space Shuttle and shifts involvement in International Space Station (ISS) operations, changes in the role and requirements of NASA's Astronaut Corps will take place. At the request of NASA, the National Research Council (NRC) addressed three main questions about these changes: what should be the role and size of Johnson Space Center's (JSC) Flight Crew Operations Directorate (FCOD); what will ...[more]


Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era ( 2011 )

More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human outposts, culminating in the current International Space Station (ISS). However, of the more than 500 humans who have so far ventured into space, most have gone only ...[more]