Finding: Next-generation life support system and environmental control technology demonstration requirements for long-duration, long-distance exploration missions have not been defined and are not included in ISS exploration utilization planning.

Recommendation: Using a well-defined risk-based prioritization scheme and including broad-based expertise, NASA should develop and maintain a set of requirements for ISS technology demonstrations for next-generation life support and environmental control systems for long-duration, long-distance missions.


The failure to thoroughly scrutinize the results generated by evaluation tools can be attributed to the short time NASA had to formulate ISS plans and to the state of flux in many areas at NASA. However, the panel strongly believes that some form of ongoing external review would improve NASA’s ability to produce an actionable plan for ISS utilization that addresses and solves gaps in knowledge and understanding necessary to successfully complete exploration missions.

Recommendation: Scheduled periodic reviews of the ISS utilization plan with the participation of a broad group of stakeholders (internal and external, scientific and operations) are needed to ensure that the plan remains appropriate and it continues to promote an integrated approach to attaining the ultimate program goals.


1. Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC). 2006. A Risk Reduction Strategy for Human Exploration of Space: A Review of NASA’s Bioastronautics Roadmap. The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.

2. IOM and NRC. 2006. A Risk Reduction Strategy for Human Exploration of Space.

3. IOM and NRC. 2006. A Risk Reduction Strategy for Human Exploration of Space, pp. 82-83.

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