Safe on Mars

Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface

Committee on Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Surface of Mars

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Space Studies Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.



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Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface Safe on Mars Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface Committee on Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Surface of Mars Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Space Studies Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

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Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.Washington, DC20418 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 committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contracts No. NASW-96013 and No. NASW-99037 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number: 0-309-08426-1 Cover: “First Light,” by Pat Rawlings and commissioned by NASA, depicts the first human travelers to Mars exploring the enormous Noctis Labyrinthus canyon system. Just after sunrise, early morning fog masks the canyon floor 4 miles below. These scientists-explorers conduct geological and meteorological research in order to help us better understand the characteristics of our sister planet and possibly our own Earth. Reproduced courtesy of the artist and NASA. Available in limited supply from Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, HA 292, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20418, (202) 334-2855 Additional copies available for sale from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Box 285, Washington, DC20055, 1-800-624-6242or (202) 334-3313(in the Washington metropolitan area), http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface 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 further-ing knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general poli-cies 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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Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface COMMITTEE ON PRECURSOR MEASUREMENTS NECESSARY TO SUPPORT HUMAN OPERATIONS ON THE SURFACE OF MARS FREDERICK H. HAUCK, Chair, AXA Space, Bethesda, Maryland HARRY Y. McSWEEN, JR., Vice Chair, University of Tennessee, Knoxville CYNTHIA BREAZEAL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge BENTON C. CLARK, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, Colorado VON R. ESHLEMAN, Stanford University (retired), Palo Alto, California JOHN HAAS, Applied Research Associates, South Royalton, Vermont JON B. REID, Consultant to the Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio JONATHAN RICHMOND, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia RONALD E. TURNER, ANSER Corporation, Arlington, Virginia WILLIAM L. WHITTAKER, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Staff DOUGLAS H. BENNETT, Study Director, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board SANDRA J. GRAHAM, Senior Program Officer, Space Studies Board GEORGE LEVIN, Director, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board JOSEPH ALEXANDER, Director, Space Studies Board BRIDGET EDMONDS (from July 2, 2001), Senior Project Assistant, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board MARY LOU AQUILO (February 1, 2001, until July 2, 2001), Senior Project Assistant, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board ANNA L. FARRAR, Financial Associate, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board VERNELLE C. MENKIR, Financial Associate, Space Studies Board

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Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD WILLIAM W. HOOVER, Chair, United States Air Force (retired), Williamsburg, Virginia A. DWIGHT ABBOTT, Aerospace Corporation (retired), Los Angeles, California RUZENA K. BAJSCY, NAE, IOM, National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia WILLIAM F. BALLHAUS, JR., NAE, Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, California JAMES BLACKWELL, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired), Atlanta, Georgia ANTHONY J. BRODERICK, Aviation Safety Consultant, Catlett, Virginia DONALD L. CROMER, United States Air Force (retired), Lompoc, California ROBERT A. DAVIS, The Boeing Company (retired), Seattle, Washington JOSEPH FULLER, JR., Futron Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland RICHARD GOLASZEWSKI, GRA Inc., Jenkintown, Pennsylvania JAMES M. GUYETTE, Rolls-Royce North America, Reston, Virginia FREDERICK H. HAUCK, AXA Space, Bethesda, Maryland JOHN L. JUNKINS, NAE, Texas A&M University, College Station JOHN K. LAUBER, Airbus Industrie of North America, Washington, D.C. GEORGE K. MUELLNER, The Boeing Company, Seal Beach, California DAVA J. NEWMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JAMES G. O'CONNOR, NAE, Pratt & Whitney (retired), Coventry, Connecticut MALCOLM R. O'NEILL, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired), Bethesda, Maryland CYNTHIA SAMUELSON, Opsis Technologies, Springfield, Virginia WINSTON E. SCOTT, Florida State University, Tallahassee KATHRYN C. THORNTON, University of Virginia, Charlottesville DIANNE S. WILEY, The Boeing Company, Long Beach, California THOMAS L. WILLIAMS, Northrop Grumman, El Segundo, California GEORGE LEVIN, Director

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Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface SPACE STUDIES BOARD JOHN H. McELROY, Chair, University of Texas at Arlington (retired) ROGER P. ANGEL, University of Arizona JAMES P. BAGIAN, Veterans Health Administration's National Center for Patient Safety 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 H. FREILICH, Oregon State University DON P. GIDDENS, Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University RALPH H. JACOBSON, 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 GEORGE A. PAULIKAS, The Aerospace Corporation (retired) 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 W. VOORHEES, Northwestern University JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER, Director

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Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface Preface Humankind's fascination with Mars predates recorded history. The bright planet with the reddish tint is unique among the other celestial objects. Tycho Brahe's observations of its unpredictable motion were deciphered by Johannes Kepler in the early 17th century as he developed his laws of planetary motion. Galileo trained his telescope on Mars and saw it as a disk in 1610. Later in the 1600s, Christiaan Huygens and Gian Cassini drew the first maps of the Martian surface. In the late 18th century, Sir William Herschel, astronomer to King George III, measured the tilt of the planet's axis and noted the Martian atmosphere and its seasons. As recently as the beginning of the 20th century, the respected American astronomer Percival Lowell was writing popularly about Martians populat-ing a planet hospitable to a life-form, if not to a human life-form. During the space race of the late 20th century, U.S. and Soviet space programs sent the Mariner, Viking, and Mars probes to study the planet during fly-bys, from orbit, and on the Martian surface. In July 1997, the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) landed on Mars and released its tiny rover, Sojourner Truth. Anyone with access to the Internet could monitor its meanders, see the Martian landscape through its eyes, and get updates on the Martian weather. Debate as to which agent, robot or human, is likely to reap the greatest rewards in the future exploration of Mars is outmoded and has evolved in the last decade into a discussion of how the two may complement each other.1,2 In pursuing answers to this question, NASA has channeled the energies of the robotic and human exploration communities to “optimize the use of humans and robots to increase the pace of discovery at multiple destinations.”3 It sponsored the present study to assist it in validating the requirements identified by these communities, specifically as they relate to the preparation for human exploration of Mars. The statement of task for this study is included as Appendix A. The Committee on Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Surface of Mars was confronted with the dilemma of being charged to “emphasize those technological issues which are directly relevant to managing environmental, chemical, and biological risks to humans operating on Mars” while recognizing that a major objective of such human missions will certainly be to search for (possibly hazardous) life on Mars. The committee took the approach of addressing only the earliest human missions to Mars, when the unknowns are the greatest and the steps taken must be the most cautious. The members of the committee (see Appendix B) were appointed by the National Research Council 1   NRC (National Research Council), 1993, Scientific Prerequi-sites for the Human Exploration of Space, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 2   NRC, 1994, Scientific Opportunities in the Human Exploration of Space, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 3   James Garvin, NASA, “Human Exploration Vision,” briefing to the committee on May 30, 2001.

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Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface (NRC). They were chosen for their expertise and ability to provide independent judgments, thereby fulfilling the study charter. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its 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 review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Vincent Castranova, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Christopher Chyba, Stanford University, Pamela Conrad, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ann Druyan, Cosmos Studios, Helen Evans, Case Western Reserve University, Stephen Gorevan, Honeybee Robotics, Noel Hinners, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Andrij Holian, University of Montana, Glenn MacPherson, United States National Museum of Natural History, Jeffrey Streator, Georgia Institute of Technology, Lawrence Townsend, University of Tennessee, and Ward Winer, Georgia Institute of Technology. Although the reviewers listed above 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 Louis Lanzerotti (NAE) of Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Respon-sibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. The committee also wishes to thank those in NASA who were so thorough in informing the committee and NRC staff, who facilitated the entire process. The committee would particularly like to recognize the efforts of the study director, Douglas Bennett, who diligently kept us on course and on time. Frederick H. Hauck, Chair Committee on Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Surface of Mars

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Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1  1   INTRODUCTION   7      Study Approach,   8      Organization of This Report,   8      Reference,   8  2   THE MARS PROGRAM IN CONTEXT   9      Scope of This Report,   10      Rover Technologies and Robotics,   10      Establishing Risk Standards,   12      References,   14  3   PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS   15      Geologic Hazards,   15      Hazards from Atmospheric Dynamics,   20      Radiation Hazards,   23      References,   26  4   CHEMICAL ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS   28      Chemical Interaction of Martian Soil and Airborne Dust with Astronautsand Critical Equipment,   28      Toxicity of Martian Atmospheric Gases,   36      References,   36  5   POTENTIAL HAZARDS OF THE BIOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT   37      Ensuring the Safety of Astronauts,   37      Ensuring the Safety of Earth's Biosphere,   38      Return Vehicle Contamination,   43      References,   43

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Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface     APPENDIXES       A  Statement of Task   47     B  Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   48     C  Acronyms and Abbreviations   51

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Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface Tables, Figure, and Boxes TABLES  2.1   Exposure Limits for Some Respirable Chemical Hazards,   13  3.1   Compositions of Five Different Martian Regolith Scenarios,   25  3.2   Effect of Hydrogen and Iron Content on Absorbed Radiation Dose,   25  4.1   Representative Listing of Reference Concentrations for Cancer-Causing Compounds and for the Noncancerous Effects of Those Compounds from EPA's IRIS Database,   29  4.2   Element Detection Capability on the Viking Landers,   30  4.3   Toxic Metal Inhalation Risk,   31  4.4   EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Concentrations,   33 FIGURE  5.1   Mars biology testing protocol,   42 BOXES  2.1   The Anatomy of a Critical System,   11  2.2   Exposure Limits for Chemical Hazards,   13  3.1   Definitions of Martian Regolith, Soil, and Dust,   16

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