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8 Coming to Closure Lennard Fisk opened the final session for general discussion and invited all participants to offer comments on the principal messages and themes that they saw emerging from the workshop. Edward Stone said that NASA's role was clear when it was founded. The agency had to help make the United States a space-faring nation. Now the United States is a space-faring nation, and if there was no NASA now, it would still be a space-faring nation. So the question has to be asked' Why NASA? Stone said that in his opinion, space is still the newest realm of human activity. NASA's job is to continue to expand the frontiers in this realm, with its international partners when appropriate. Stone said there are five frontiers in space, namely: The physical frontier, 2. The knowledge frontier, 3. The technology frontier, 4. The human frontier, and 5. The applications frontier. In Stone's opinion, it is NASA's role to . Invest in these frontiers, to learn about them, and to expand them. Such learning entails risk, but if we demonstrate that we are learning new things then we have a way to measure risks, benefits, and costs. Stone said this is technical risk, not institutional risk. Each program at NASA has to expand one or more of these frontiers. Because these frontiers are immense, choices must be made. Among the criteria for such choices is the extent to which expanding a frontier contributes to the achievement of a Tonger-term goal. Human spaceflight should expand the physical frontier, eventually extending that frontier to Mars. The United States is not ready to go to Mars yet, though the space program first has to expand the human frontier by learning about the psychology and physiology of Tong-term spaceflight. That should be the role of the ISS. In expanding these frontiers, Stone said that the United States should pay special attention to its rate of learning. The rate of learning suggests an exit criterion when you stop learning you move on to the next step. The rate of learning in human spaceflight has to be greater than in other areas, given its level of investment and high risk. To learn most effectively, Stone said that the United States should move away from the occasional, large systems with very Tong development times and move toward systems that tackle these frontiers on shorter time scales. NASA should establish 5-year programs, or similar concepts, which focus on the engineering of new systems, a high rate of learning, and then preparation for moving on to the next step. The success of the space sciences at NASA has demonstrated that when NASA can make good progress and demonstrate real success, the progress will be rewarded. NASA can demonstrate real Fortress . .. . ~ , . . . ~ .. . .. towarct tne coat of Vary or towarct anY coat for tnat matters without having to make a commitment to a ~ , ~ ~ , ~ 1 , , r. ~ , ~ , r ,' , ~ ~ , ~ , ~ ~ , ~' ~ ~ ~ ~ , date or to a specific location. But ~t that goal does not become Inevitable, it will never be reached, and it will never become inevitable if the United States does not push these frontiers. Fink followed up on Stone's remarks by saying that the nation needs an architecture and that perhaps the frontiers idea can serve as the basis for that architecture. The frontiers can help identify what steps are needed to get to Mars or any other destination. However, Fink pointed out that there has to be a full-time effort to plan how to progress along these frontiers. Only a full-time effort can produce the interim steps that are technically feasible and that can fit into the political environment. Hinners agreed and indicated that he thought NASA's science programs have had success because they actively involve the science community. There is a peer review process, and there is some measure of tension between the space agency and the scientific community. This tension and interaction ultimately improve science. The human spaceflight part of NASA is missing this constructive tension, as he called it, and Hinners 38

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wonclerect about who couict acict it. Who couict be involved on a permanent basis? Fisk agreed and said he believed that the architecture for Tong-term goals or plans should not necessarily be left to NASA alone. Giacconi incticatect that he also agreed with Stone and said that it is important to have a precise goal, because without it small steps and good learning can continue on in a way that is similar to the space program's current lack of direction. Giacconi then commented on what he saw as a defeatist attitude, which was something he found very strange. He asked how it couict be that the United States couict have a space agency with a $15 billion budget and not have the boldness to articulate goals for that agency. The U.S. space program must have a goal. NASA and the space community should not go to Congress and ask, "Do you want us to do something like this?" Rather, NASA should approach Congress and say, "We want to do this." Then let Congress make its decision. He wanted the people in the room to be enthusiastic, saying that ultimately the space program can't please everyone, but it must take a stanct. Craig Wheeler agreed with the need to establish a clear goal as well. Wheeler also agreed that it would be wrong to specify a time line for the goal, but argued that we should begin by setting out along the frontiers clefinect by Stone. Wheeler incticatect that Mars is sometimes mentioned with reticence because of its high cost, and it has to be taken out of the closet. There are ways to define excellent science questions about Mars to specifically define Stone's frontiers. A particular issue to pursue with new and renewed vigor is the question of whether Mars has in the past harbored life or floes now harbor life. A single example of Martian life, like it or not, would fire the public's imagination. The quest for life on Mars could help identify how best to integrate both robots and humans. In Wheeler's minct, this kind of approach would require more openness from NASA than it has offered in the past. It would require candor about how to salvage the ISS. Wheeler believed that NASA cannot afford to be viewed as less than fully open and honest in establishing its next goal. Several participants followed up on Wheeler's remarks about the need for a clear Tong-term goal, and about how to achieve that goal. They saw a connection between the issue of whether NASA is viewed as being entirely honest and Giacconi's remarks regarding a defeatist attitude. They incticatect that there is a trust issue related to NASA. These participants felt that perhaps this lack of trust contributed to the attitude clescribect by Giacconi. SSB member Michael Freilich ctiscussect what he saw as points that were reinforced by the discussion. The first was a ctistinct lack of institutionalization of a process for the infusion of new people and new icleas in the human spaceflight program. This floes not refer to the astronaut corps, but to the upper level. Some risk comes with new people and new icleas they might make mistakes. However, they might not make the same mistakes over again. They might not "normalize deviance," a process clescribect by Diane Vaughan in her booki about the Challenger accident and referred to again as part of the Columbia accident investigation. New people and new ideas might make the program safer in the end. There is no institutional plan to bring in new icleas at the top for human spaceflight. The Rogers Commission report on the Challenger accident, the CAIB report, the Augustine Report none of them found that NASA has such a plan. Freilich agreed with Hinners that the process of peer review and the kind of interaction that NASA's science program has with the scientific community both improve the program, because they are a way of bringing in those new ideas at the top. Freilich's second point was that NASA in general has not clone a good enough job in technology clevelopment. Referring to the Space Act, Freilich said NASA is supposed to be a technology development agency, among its other responsibilities, but it floes not send out missions that use the newest possible technology. Somehow NASA has lost sight of how best to develop the newest technology, and this affects the willingness of the next generation of scientists and engineers to work in the space program. Frosch agreed, commenting on the value of external people to abet new ideas for program and technology development, as well as for careful reexamination of the processes within the agency. ~ Vaughan, Diane, The Challenger Launch Decision. Risky Technology, Culture, & Deviance at NASA, University of Chicago Press, 1996. 39

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Ingber elaborated on Freilich's comments about technology development. Acivancect technology clevelopment is what is important, not just to the space aspects of national security and commercial successes, but to the broacler national security and commercial needs of the United States as well. NASA in the beginning ctict develop acivancect technologies, but now it is a shuttle maintenance program and a station maintenance program, so acivancect technology clevelopment doesn't seem to happen anymore. But the potential for space technology to strive new technology is overwhelming, and that's what NASA should be cloing. Ingber believed that this could be a way of helping to prove the value of the program to the nation, similar to the way that the National Institutes of Health can justify its programs to the nation- the money put in brings back so much value. If technology can strive short-term goals along the lines of the frontiers, that could help generate the next technology wave that will push the country forward. Space exploration can generate systems engineering projects that mix robotics, biology, physics, chemistry, engineering, and complex systems. These projects can bring a new level of excitement and new young people into the program. SSB member Roger Blanciforct offered his own summation by saying that he could not recall a meeting where he ctisagreect so little with what was being said or hearct so much agreement on some of the general principles the need for a clear, well-enunciatect goal, the need for a clear set of steps toward that goal basest on learning, the need for better technology development, and the embracing of the general principles of Stone's frontier moclel. He sensed that there was a real willingness in the room to continue human exploration. He felt that this was an important point that there were harct-core scientists in the room who agreed on the need to do exploration and the value of exploration, scientists who tract previously been antagonistic toward the Gannett space program. He also was happy to hear an agreement to stop the debate over humans versus robots and to start thinking about how to integrate humans and robotics in order to explore the solar system in the most optimal manner. Furthermore, he felt that he hearct shared views that it is premature to set an absolute ciate for a destination that there is still much to learn, but there is value in proceeding in stages and learning along the way. He said that to enunciate a specific goal is not necessarily the job of the Space Studies Board or the workshop. The specific goal will be cleciclect through the political process. But, he saint, the Board and the workshop can inform that process. Fisk brought the workshop to a close by congratulating the participants on an open, frank, and articulate discussion. He offered seven general conclusions that he strew from the workshop discussions, as follows: 1. There are five space activities in the United States: national reconnaissance; military space; commercial space; unmanned space and Earth science; and human spaceflight. The first four have clearly clefinect goals and motivations. Human spaceflight needs better clefinect and articulated goals. 2. The primary motivation for the human spaceflight program should be to explore. There is a visceral sense, a perhaps unclocumentect but strongly held belief, that there is an innate human need to explore, which the human spaceflight program can satisfy. 3. There is no longer a need for the human space program to be a demonstration of U.S. technological prowess; there are many other such demonstrations. But there is a role for human spaceflight to be a demonstration of U.S. leadership and goodwill. This is particularly important at a time when many in the world view the United States with suspicion. However, to be a leacler there must be others who are active participants. We should not pursue a human spaceflight program on behalf of humankind that is another form of arrogance but together with the other nations. 4. Exploration is a legitimate form of science, if properly concluctect. There is a need to incorporate clefenclable, legitimate science into the human exploration endeavor. It has to be clone with robotics and humans in concert. 5. Implicit in the goal to explore is the necessity to leave Tow Earth orbit. The goal of extending human presence beyond Earth orbit should thus define the exit strategies for the shuttle and the space station, each of which as currently clefinect is a plead encl. 40

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6. Extending human presence beyond Earth orbit is a Tong-term goal that will be difficult to sustain. There must be visible short-term milestones that are achieved with clemonstrable success. It is possible to pursue a level-of-effort program to achieve these goals, one that retains public support, similar, for example, to the support for the Tong-term goal of the National Institutes of Health to cure disease. 7. Related to the notion of a Toss of conficlence in NASA, the nation and the Congress will have to ask some very difficult questions about the space program and its political support. We need to recognize the current inadequacy of NASA to execute these goals for human spaceflight, and thus the most radical change may need to be to change the structure and mission of NASA. NASA's role in developing new technology needs to be emphasized, and trust must be earnest and returned to reinforce NASA's capabilities to execute the nation's desire to go forth into space. Fisk concluclect his summary by saying that he was struck by the possibility that the time may have come when the science community, in the broadest sense, might embrace the idea that there is in fact a role for the human spaceflight program and then steer it in the direction of efforts that will produce valid science using science in the broadest sense of the word for exploration. If the community can say "we want to do this", if the community can say "we as a group of scientists, we as the leaclers of the scientific community, believe this country should invest in that activity" and then be prepared to stanct up and say how to do it, to make a case to the world that this is a valid use of the nation's resources, then that will be a significant milestone. 41

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PREPUBLICATION COPY Subject to Further Editorial Correction Freilich's second point was that NASA in general has not done a good enough job in technology development. Referring to the Space Act, Freilich said NASA is supposed to be a technology development agency, among its other responsibilities, but it does not send out missions that use the newest possible technology. Somehow NASA has lost sight of how best to develop the newest technology, and this affects the willingness of the next generation of scientists and engineers to work in the space program. Frosch agreed, commenting on the value of external people to add new ideas for program and technology development, as well as for careful reexamination of the processes within the agency. Ingber elaborated on Freilich's comments about technology development. Advanced technology development is what is important, not just to the space aspects of national security and commercial successes, but to the broader national security and commercial needs of the United States as well. NASA in the beginning did develop advanced technologies, but now it is a shuttle maintenance program and a station maintenance program, so advanced technology development doesn't seem to happen anymore. But the potential for space technology to drive new technology is overwhelming, and that's what NASA should be doing. Ingber believed that this could be a way of helping to prove the value of the program to the nation, similar to the way that the National Institutes of Health can justify its programs to the nationthe money put in brings back so much value. If technology can drive short-term goals along the lines of the frontiers, that could help generate the next technology wave that will push the country forward. Space exploration can generate systems engineering projects that mix robotics, biology, physics, chemistry, engineering, and complex systems. These projects can bring a new level of excitement and new young people into the program. SSB member Roger Blandford offered his own summation by saying that he could not recall a meeting where he disagreed so little with what was being said or heard so much agreement on some of the general principles the need for a clear, well-enunciated goal, the need for a clear set of steps toward that goal based on learning, the need for better technology development, and the embracing of the general principles of Stone's frontier model. He sensed that there was a real willingness in the room to continue human exploration. He felt that this was an important point that there were hard-core scientists in the room who agreed on the need to do exploration and the value of exploration, scientists who had previously been antagonistic toward the manned space program. He also was happy to hear an agreement to stop the debate over humans versus robots and to start thinking about how to integrate humans and robotics in order to explore the solar system in the most optimal manner. Furthermore, he felt that he heard shared views that it is premature to set an absolute date for a destination that there is still much to learn, but there is value in proceeding in stages and learning along the way. He said that to enunciate a specific goal is not necessarily the job of the Space Studies Board or the workshop. The specific goal will be decided through the political process. But, he said, the Board and workshop can inform that process. Fisk brought the workshop to a close by congratulating the participants on an open, frank, and articulate discussion. He offered seven general conclusions that he drew from the workshop discussions, as follows: 1. There are five space activities in the United States: national reconnaissance; military space; commercial space; unmanned space and Earth science; and human spaceflight. The first four have clearly defined goals and motivations. Human spaceflight needs better defined and articulated goals. 2. The primary motivation for the human spaceflight program should be to explore. There is a visceral sense, a perhaps undocumented but strongly held belief, that there is an innate human need to explore, which the human snacefli~ht program can satisfy. '2 . ~ J. . ~ . `_ ~ ~ nere Is no longer a need for the human space program to be a demonstration of U.S. technological prowess; there are many other such demonstrations. But there is a role for human S-3