Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station

Task Group on Research on the International Space Station

Space Studies Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.



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Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station Task Group on Research on the International Space Station Space Studies Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

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Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the task group responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration contracts NASW-96013 and NASW-01001. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor. Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Copyright 2001 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A.Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I.Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts and Dr. Wm A.Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station TASK GROUP ON RESEARCH ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION JAMES P.BAGIAN, National Center for Patient Safety, Veterans Health Administration, Chair NOEL D.JONES, Eli Lilly and Company (retired), Vice Chair ADELE L.BOSKEY, Weill Medical College of Cornell University JOHN F.BRADY, California Institute of Technology JAY C.BUCKEY, JR., Dartmouth Medical School MEREDITH B.COLKET III, United Technologies Research Center HERMAN Z.CUMMINS, City College of the City of New York JOHN H.HOPPS, JR., Northwestern University LYNETTE JONES, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ALAN LAWLEY, Drexel University ROBERT A.MARCUS, Department of Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto Health Care System STEVEN E.PFEIFFER, University of Connecticut Medical School Consultants DAVID J.PINE, National Academy of Public Administration THOMAS E.UTSMAN, National Academy of Public Administration Staff SANDRA J.GRAHAM, Study Director LISA TAYLOR, Senior Project Assistant

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Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station SPACE STUDIES BOARD JOHN H.McELROY, University of Texas at Arlington (retired), Chair ROGER P.ANGEL, University of Arizona JAMES P.BAGIAN, National Center for Patient Safety, Veterans Health Administration JAMES L.BURCH, Southwest Research Institute RADFORD BYERLY, JR., University of Colorado ROBERT E.CLELAND, University of Washington HOWARD M.EINSPAHR, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute STEVEN H.FLAJSER, Loral Space and Communications Ltd. MICHAEL FREILICH, Oregon State University DON P.GIDDENS, Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University RALPH H.JACOBSON, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory CONWAY LEOVY, University of Washington JONATHAN I.LUNINE, University of Arizona BRUCE D.MARCUS, TRW (retired) RICHARD A.McCRAY, University of Colorado HARRY Y.McSWEEN, JR., University of Tennessee GARY J.OLSEN, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GEORGE A.PAULIKAS, The Aerospace Corporation (retired) ROBERT ROSNER, University of Chicago ROBERT J.SERAFIN, National Center for Atmospheric Research EUGENE B.SKOLNIKOFF, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MITCHELL SOGIN, Marine Biological Laboratory C.MEGAN URRY, Yale University PETER VOORHEES, Northwestern University JOHN A.WOOD, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics JOSEPH K.ALEXANDER, Director

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Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station Preface In the 1980s and 1990s most microgravity research in space in the life and physical sciences was conducted on the space shuttle. The Spacelab module, which provided a relatively large volume in which to house research equipment in a crew-tended, shirtsleeve environment in the shuttle cargo bay, comprised the most useful platform for these shuttle-based investigations. The Spacelab series of flights was terminated in 1998. Although a small number of shuttle flights have occurred or are planned for the next few years using alternative research platforms, most future research activities must now await the availability of the completed International Space Station (ISS) in the 2006 time frame. Such a hiatus in access to space has concerned many researchers. It has been feared that this gap could lead to the atrophy of the existing research community as researchers turn elsewhere to pursue more immediate research opportunities and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows view low-gravity studies as being too far in the future to merit their attention. Concerns have also been expressed about how this situation will reduce the size of the research community below the critical mass needed to use the ISS meaningfully when its assembly and outfitting are completed. In several reports to NASA, the Space Studies Board has stressed the need to continue to provide research flight opportunities up to the time that the ISS becomes available. The House of Representatives raised this issue in 1999 during formulation of a proposed NASA authorization bill, but no final bill was enacted that year. However, the NASA Authorization Act of FY 2000 became law, and it contained provisions directing NASA to seek a study by the National Research Council (NRC) and the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) on these issues. The Space Studies Board of the NRC, in cooperation with the National Academy of Public Administration, agreed to organize a study of the status of life and microgravity research on the ISS. During the first of two study phases, the study task group conducted an assessment of (1) the readiness of the U.S. scientific community to use the ISS for life and microgravity research and (2) the relative costs and benefits of either dedicating an annual space shuttle mission to life and microgravity research during assembly of the ISS or maintaining the current schedule for ISS assembly in place. The study has focused on the research areas that would utilize the pressurized laboratories in the International Space Station. These areas were considered from the perspective of both academic and industrial researchers. At the request of Congress the study was conducted jointly with NAPA, as noted above. The NRC focused on scientific and technical aspects of the study, and NAPA focused on resource and cost-benefit assessments. During the phase-1 study, the two organizations worked in parallel while coordinating closely. This coordination included joint planning for the study and agreement on allocation of responsibilities at the beginning of the project, NAPA representation at all task group meetings, regular communication during the fact-finding stages, general agreement on the principal conclusions, and

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Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station development of separate reports that would be published in a single document. The NAPA assessment, which was reviewed by NAPA and was not subject to the review process of the NRC, is included as an independent document in Appendix A of this report. The Space Studies Board established the ad hoc Task Group on Research on the International Space Station with members having expertise in the areas of space life sciences and microgravity physical sciences. The task group held the first of two meetings for the phase-1 study in April 2001. This document constitutes an interim report with findings from phase 1. During phase 2, and building on information collected during phase 1, the task group will address current and projected factors limiting the research utility of the ISS and will develop recommendations for improving the research community’s ability to maximize the research potential of the ISS. Information for this study was collected from NASA briefings to the task group, interviews with representatives of the scientific user community for the International Space Station, the cost-benefit assessment developed by the National Academy of Public Administration, and NASA documents available online. NASA also provided extensive data on its flight and ground research programs in response to detailed question lists developed by the task group.

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Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Francois Abboud, University of Iowa, John Buckmaster, University of Illinois, Susan Doll, Harvard University, Joel Koplik, City University of New York, Gideon Rodan, Merck Research Laboratory, Thomas Steitz, Yale University, and Kathleen Taylor, General Motors Research and Development Center. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Mary J.Osborn, University of Connecticut. Appointed by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring task group and the institution.

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Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   4     Background,   4     Laboratory Research in Space,   4     The International Space Station,   5     References,   6 2   READINESS TO UTILIZE THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION   8     Readiness of the Current Science Community,   8     Sustainability of Readiness,   11     Conclusion,   15     References,   15 3   ADDING ANNUAL SHUTTLE MISSIONS FOR LABORATORY SCIENCE   16     Effect of ISS Changes on Task,   16     Consequences of a Three-Person Crew,   16     Consequences of Reduced ISS Research Capability,   17     Cost-Benefit Analysis of Added Shuttle Flights,   18     Are Shuttle Flights Worthwhile?,   18     Is the Loss of High-Quality Microgravity Researchers a Pressing Issue?,   18     Will the Configuration Envisioned in Rev. G Be Capable of Conducting World-Class Microgravity Research?,   19     Conclusions and Recommendations,   19     APPENDIXES         A National Academy of Public Administration Phase 1 Report: Research on the International Space Station,   23     B Excerpt from NASA Authorization Act of FY 2000,   33     C Acronyms Used in Figures and Tables,   34     D Task Group and Consultant Biographies,   35

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