risks; (3) incorporate quality-of-evidence measures, represent risk severity separately from the state of the mitigation strategy or countermeasure, and use standard uncertainty analysis techniques to quantify risk uncertainty; and (4) ensure that the BR is a dynamic and current database.

The committee identified both overarching and specific issues in need of attention in the BR content. Overarching issues involve the impact of various time factors on risk, the interactions among risks, and the need to create two new cross-cutting categories of risk: “Human Systems Integration” and “Food and Nutrition.” Specific issues include the need to (1) validate current and future crew selection criteria; (2) group behavioral health risks into categories based on clinical outcomes and address issues of human sexuality in long-duration missions; (3) use actuarial data to estimate the likelihood of intrinsic health alterations as part of the selection criteria for the Mars mission crew; and (4) quantitatively evaluate mental and physical health risks affecting crew health and mission success.

The committee concurred with NASA regarding the establishment of an independent health and medical authority to enhance the BR process and recommended that NASA (1) add human performance failure due to organizational and cultural factors as a new risk; (2) conduct periodic assessment of additional risks from lack of resources and use this to make decisions about research support; (3) use Bayesian sequential trials approach and hierarchical random or fixed effect methods to address the small sample size resulting from limited opportunities for space flight; and (4) reframe risks as either health or technology related, in order to address issues within the BR context.


Extending the spatial and temporal boundaries of human space flight are important goals for the nation and for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). However, human space flight remains an endeavor with substantial risks, and these risks must be identified, managed, and mitigated appropriately to achieve the nation’s goals in space. The Bioastronautics Roadmap (hereafter referred to as the BR) is described by NASA as “the framework used to identify and assess the risks of crew exposure to the hazardous environments of space” (NASA, 2005). The BR

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