Department of Energy-Naval Reactors program for help in designing research programs aimed at developing the required multivariate, physically based computational models.

Coordination of Research and Design

The NASA office responsible for microgravity research should diligently inform NASA at large about the issues of reduced gravity that are foreseen for space hardware design, so that such considerations may enter design thinking at the concept stage. It should also apprise the microgravity research community of design issues relevant to microgravity research, and NASA should encourage the blending of conceptual design and phenomenological research. This will require active communication and coordination among basic researchers and system designers and users, which should be specifically encouraged by such means as regular workshops and study groups in which both mission technologists and microgravity scientists participate.

Microgravity Research and the International Space Station

It is expected that the International Space Station (ISS) will provide a unique platform for conducting long-duration microgravity scientific research and assessing the efficiency and long-term suitability of many of the technical systems important to HEDS. The committee reiterates a recommendation from its phase I report (NRC, 1997, p. 39): In addition to carrying out basic research aboard the ISS, NASA should take advantage of the station and its subsystems, using them for testbed studies of scientific and engineering concepts applicable to HEDS technologies. In particular, the ISS can play an important role in the multiphase flow and heat transfer research program recommended above.

Peer Review for Reduced-Gravity Research

The NASA Research Announcement process and its peer review system have greatly enhanced the productivity and quality of NASA's gravity-related research. These mechanisms should be maintained as steps are taken to develop areas of science affecting HEDS technologies.


National Research Council (NRC), Space Studies Board. 1997. An Initial Review of Microgravity Research in Support of Human Exploration and Development of Space. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

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