Criteria Used for Categorization of Research Recommendations
In its categorization of research, whether basic, applied, or translational, the committee used the following eight prioritization criteria developed to capture the potential value of the results of research (information, engineered systems, publications, or new concepts).
• Prioritization Criterion 1: The extent to which the results of the research will reduce uncertainty about both the benefits and the risks of space exploration (Positive Impact on Exploration Efforts, Improved Access to Data or to Samples, Risk Reduction)
• Prioritization Criterion 2: The extent to which the results of the research will reduce the costs of space exploration (Potential to Enhance Mission Options or to Reduce Mission Costs)
• Prioritization Criterion 3: The extent to which the results of the research may lead to entirely new options for exploration missions (Positive Impact on Exploration Efforts, Improved Access to Data or to Samples)
• Prioritization Criterion 4: The extent to which the results of the research will provide full or partial answers to grand science challenges that the space environment provides a unique means to address (Relative Impact Within Research Field)
• Prioritization Criterion 5: The extent to which the results of the research are uniquely needed by NASA, as opposed to any other agencies (Needs Unique to NASA Exploration Programs)
• Prioritization Criterion 6: The extent to which the results of the research can be synergistic with other agencies’ needs (Research Programs That Could Be Dual-Use)
• Prioritization Criterion 7: The extent to which the research must use the space environment to achieve useful knowledge (Research Value of Using Reduced-Gravity Environment)
• Prioritization Criterion 8: The extent to which the results of the research could lead to either faster or better solutions to terrestrial problems or to terrestrial economic benefit (Ability to Translate Results to Terrestrial Needs)
The committee did not weight these criteria, a step that would require assumptions about policy decisions not yet made, or subject to change in the future. The criteria and priorities outlined in this chapter, based on clear metrics, provide a basis for a complete, transparent, and robust research program, which the committee believes is required to fully address NASA’s future needs for the life and physical sciences research essential to successful space exploration.
ers, such as adequate nutrition, exposure to radiation, thermoregulation, immune function, stress, and behavioral aspects. The eight criteria listed in Box 13.2 are also offered as a tool that will allow further down-selection to a focused research program that can support any future policy decisions and the associated technology development or knowledge requirements.
Although suggestions are provided below for further prioritization of recommendations already identified as being of the highest priority for specific research areas, none of these high-priority recommendations should be interpreted as being unnecessary. Recognizing that the relative order in which the recommendations will be addressed is likely to depend on the future directions of NASA’s exploration and research programs, the committee underscores that all of the recommendations individually are of high merit and collectively constitute important components of an integrated research portfolio. Adoption of such a portfolio will serve as a foundation for the success of future U.S. space exploration efforts, which will require integration, diverse teams, and a translational scientific approach as discussed in Chapter 12.
In addition to the recommendations forming an integrated research portfolio, most of the discipline panels identified a set of important priorities more extensive than what is summarized in this chapter. Although the subset of recommendations provided here should form the core of a renewed physical and life sciences research program,