Appendix A
Statement of Task

The Space Studies Board, in conjunction with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, will appoint a study committee to prepare a report that addresses the following issues regarding the development and use of radioisotope power systems (RPSs) for NASA space missions:

  • Technical readiness and programmatic balance of NASA’s RPS technology portfolio to support NASA near- and long-term mission plans;

  • Effectiveness and ability of U.S. Government agency management structures, including participating organizations, roles, and responsibilities, to meet stated goals and objectives of U.S. programs for RPS capabilities within the current statutory and policy framework;

  • Importance to the national interest of maintaining and/or reestablishing needed infrastructure at field centers, laboratories, and the private sector R&D base, given the recent curtailment of RPS program content and ambitious national goals in space exploration;

  • Strategies for reestablishment of 238Pu domestic production versus the likelihood of continued procurement of Russian-produced material in view of potential competition for 238Pu fuel from other space-faring nations and the critical shortage of U.S.-owned inventory; and

  • Identification of any actions that could be taken in the context of the overall RPS program to meet stated science and exploration goals.



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appendix a statement of task The Space Studies Board, in conjunction with the Aero- • Importance to the national interest of maintaining and/ nautics and Space Engineering Board, will appoint a study or reestablishing needed infrastructure at field centers, committee to prepare a report that addresses the following laboratories, and the private sector R&D base, given the issues regarding the development and use of radioisotope recent curtailment of RPS program content and ambi- power systems (RPSs) for NASA space missions: tious national goals in space exploration; • Strategies for reestablishment of 238Pu domestic pro- • Technical readiness and programmatic balance of duction versus the likelihood of continued procurement NASA’s RPS technology portfolio to support NASA of Russian-produced material in view of potential com- petition for 238Pu fuel from other space-faring nations near- and long-term mission plans; • Effectiveness and ability of U.S. Government agency and the critical shortage of U.S.-owned inventory; and management structures, including participating organi- • Identification of any actions that could be taken in zations, roles, and responsibilities, to meet stated goals the context of the overall RPS program to meet stated and objectives of U.S. programs for RPS capabilities science and exploration goals. within the current statutory and policy framework;