and (2) identify the unique challenges for accomplishing its goals and objectives. Specific questions for the committee to answer included but were not limited to the following:

  1. How can the BCPR better capture and describe the critical risks and key research and technology issues for risk reduction and management so as to provide a framework for informed decisions regarding resource allocation?

  2. Does the BCPR use an appropriate method of risk assessment and expression of risk assessment? Does it adequately communicate the methods underlying risk assessment and the resulting activities for different mission scenarios?

  3. How well does the BCPR address different types of risk (e.g., health, engineering) and their impact?

  4. Are the categories of critical research issues and the metrics used to analyze them appropriate (risk assessment and characterization, mechanistic/process research, countermeasure development, and medical diagnosis and treatment)?

  5. Are efficiency and technology issues properly and adequately addressed?

This is the interim report of the IOM committee’s review of NASA’s BCPR. The purpose of this report is to provide NASA with preliminary conclusions regarding the strengths and weakness of the BCPR. Over the next several months, the committee will continue to gather data and information and meet with NASA personnel, including senior leadership, other NASA decision makers, and those in operational areas related to the human space flight program. The committee’s final report, due in August 2005, will elaborate on these preliminary conclusions and provide NASA with recommendations about how to address the issues that are identified by the committee.

The BCPR was developed collaboratively by NASA’s Office of Biological and Physical Research, the Office of Space Flight, and the Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer. NASA describes the BCPR as a framework for identifying and assessing the risks to crews that are exposed to the hazardous environments of space.1 The roadmap identifies risks


Bioastronautics spans research, technological, medical/operational, and policy issues related to understanding and managing the human consequences of space flight.

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