C

Event Sequence Diagram for the Determination of Planetary Protection Measures for Missions to Icy Bodies

The binary decision-making framework outlined in Chapter 2 provides an alternative to probabilistic estimates of contamination constrained by the uncertain and/or unknowable factors included in the Coleman-Sagan equation. The decision-making framework can be visualized in a number of different ways. The committee’s preferred depiction (see Figure 2.2) may not be the one most familiar to all relevant scientific and technical communities. Indeed, engineers tend to visualize decision networks as event sequence diagrams.

The event sequence diagram presented in Figure C.1 is included to provide mission planners with the functional equivalent of the decision-making framework in Chapter 2, but in a more familiar format.

Figure C.1 indicates the process to be applied for the two determinations necessary, the first of which is related to potential habitability of the icy body target (that is, its “fragility” against bio-propagation), and the second related to the type of mission proposed so as to address the potential for “initiating” a bio-contamination of a potentially habitable icy body. This bimodal determination process (that is, the determination of the fragility of the process, design, target) and the determination of the potential for damage initiation are consistent with the general process of risk determination used across a variety of applications.1,2

The left-hand portion of Figure C.1 represents the decision of whether the planetary body of interest should be considered to be potentially habitable. Four criteria are used to judge the habitability of the planetary body and specifically question whether the planetary body is known to possess liquid water, the key elements considered essential for terrestrial life, environments known to be compatible with known extreme conditions of terrestrial life, and accessible sources of chemical energy. If the planetary body does not possess one or more of these attributes, then it is judged as uninhabitable by terrestrial life and, although assembly of spacecraft intended for these bodies should be performed in a clean room, no bioload reduction is required for planetary protection. If the planetary body does possess these four essential attributes for habitability by terrestrial life, or if this information remains undetermined at the time of the mission, then the planetary body is deemed to be potentially habitable.

The right-hand portion of Figure C.1 considers the nature of the mission itself (e.g., flyby, orbiter, lander) as relevant to determining planetary protection requirements for missions to potentially habitable planetary bodies. Consideration must be given to whether the mission employs a lander and/or an orbiter and whether a flyby attempt will be made of the given planetary body. If a lander is employed, the likelihood of the spacecraft interacting with a habitable region must be evaluated, and for all missions the probability of the lander crashing or otherwise interacting with a region where surface-subsurface transport is possible must be assessed. If this likelihood is less than 10–4 over a period of 103 years, then no bio-load reduction measures are required for planetary protection



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 70
C Event Sequence Diagram for the Determination of Planetary Protection Measures for Missions to Icy Bodies The binary decision-making framework outlined in Chapter 2 provides an alternative to probabilistic estimates of contamination constrained by the uncertain and/or unknowable factors included in the Coleman-Sagan equa - tion. The decision-making framework can be visualized in a number of different ways. The committee’s preferred depiction (see Figure 2.2) may not be the one most familiar to all relevant scientific and technical communities. Indeed, engineers tend to visualize decision networks as event sequence diagrams. The event sequence diagram presented in Figure C.1 is included to provide mission planners with the functional equivalent of the decision-making framework in Chapter 2, but in a more familiar format. Figure C.1 indicates the process to be applied for the two determinations necessary, the first of which is related to potential habitability of the icy body target (that is, its “fragility” against bio-propagation), and the second related to the type of mission proposed so as to address the potential for “initiating” a bio-contamination of a potentially habitable icy body. This bimodal determination process (that is, the determination of the fragility of the process, design, target) and the determination of the potential for damage initiation are consistent with the general process of risk determination used across a variety of applications. 1,2 The left-hand portion of Figure C.1 represents the decision of whether the planetary body of interest should be considered to be potentially habitable. Four criteria are used to judge the habitability of the planetary body and specifically question whether the planetary body is known to possess liquid water, the key elements considered essential for terrestrial life, environments known to be compatible with known extreme conditions of terrestrial life, and accessible sources of chemical energy. If the planetary body does not possess one or more of these attributes, then it is judged as uninhabitable by terrestrial life and, although assembly of spacecraft intended for these bodies should be performed in a clean room, no bioload reduction is required for planetary protection. If the planetary body does possess these four essential attributes for habitability by terrestrial life, or if this information remains undetermined at the time of the mission, then the planetary body is deemed to be potentially habitable. The right-hand portion of Figure C.1 considers the nature of the mission itself (e.g., flyby, orbiter, lander) as relevant to determining planetary protection requirements for missions to potentially habitable planetary bodies. Consideration must be given to whether the mission employs a lander and/or an orbiter and whether a flyby attempt will be made of the given planetary body. If a lander is employed, the likelihood of the spacecraft interacting with a habitable region must be evaluated, and for all missions the probability of the lander crashing or otherwise interacting with a region where surface-subsurface transport is possible must be assessed. If this likelihood is less than 10–4 over a period of 103 years, then no bio-load reduction measures are required for planetary protection 70

OCR for page 70
71 APPENDIX C beyond clean-room assembly. If the probability for interacting with habitable regions exceeds 10 –4 over a period of 103 years, then specific consideration must be given to whether the lack of complex and heterogeneous organic nutrients in aqueous environments of icy moons would preclude the propagation of any microbes that may have survived extreme irradiation and desiccation environments in transport. If the lack of nutrients indeed precludes propagation, then clean-room assembly is deemed sufficient; however, if the potential for propagation remains, then at least minimal planetary protection methods are required, and the final-decision question then considers whether heat treatment at 60°C for 5 hours would fail to eliminate all physiological groups that could potentially propagate on the target body. If so, then stringent planetary protection methods are required for the mission to proceed, or else the mission must either be reformulated or cancelled. REFERENCES 1 . J. Fragola, B. Putney, and J. Minarck III, An Evaluation of Containment Assurance Risk for Earth Entry Vehicle and Space Shuttle Sample Return, Earth Entry Vehicle Office, NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, Va., September 30, 2002. 2 . J. Fragola, B. Putney, and J. Minarck III, Mars Sample Return Probabilistic Risk Assessment Final Report: An Evalua - tion of Containment Assurance Risk for Earth Entry Vehicle and Space Shuttle Sample Return, Contract No. 123-4119, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

OCR for page 70
72 PLANETARY PROTECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR SPACECRAFT MISSIONS TO ICY SOLAR SYSTEM BODIES Habitability Potentially 2. Key 3.Physical 4. Chemical Transfer of Planetary 1. Water? Habitable Elements? Conditions? Energy? Out Body Clean Room Clean Room Clean Room Clean Room Assembly Assembly Assembly Assembly Key to Decision Questions 1. Do current data indicate that the destination lacks liquid water essential for terrestrial life? (Decision Point 1) 2. Do current data indicate that the destination lacks any of the key elements C, H, N, P, S, K, Mg, Ca, O, and Fe, required for terrestrial life? (Decision Point 2) 3. Do current data indicate that the physical properties of the target body are incompatible with known extreme conditions for terrestrial life? (Decision Point 3) 4. Do current data indicate that the environment lacks an accessible source of chemical energy? (Decision Point 4) 5.1. Is a lander available? (Decision Point 5) 5.2. Is an orbiter available? (Decision Point 5) 5.3. Is a close flyby possible? (Decision Point 5) 5a. Do current data indicate that the probability of the spacecraft contacting a habitable environment within 1,000 years is less than 10-4 ? (Decision Point 5) 5b. Do current data indicate that the probability of the spacecraft crashing or otherwise contacting an active fissure or other region where surface-subsurface transport is possible within 1,000 years is less than 10-4 ? (Decision Point 5) 6. Do current data indicate that the lack of complex and heterogeneous organic nutrients in aqueous environments of icy moons will prevent the survival of irradiated and desiccated microbes? (Decision Point 6) 7. Do current data indicate that heat treatment of the spacecraft at 60˚C for 5 hours will eliminate all physiological groups that can propagate on the target body? (Decision Point 7) FIGURE C.1 Event sequence diagram for the determination of planetary protection measures for missions to icy bodies (continues next page).

OCR for page 70
73 APPENDIX C Habitability Legend of Planetary Body Topic Decision Transfer No 5.1 Lander? 5.2 Orbiter? 5.3 Flyby? In Yes Transfer 5a. Habitable End State Region? Stringent 7. 60C for Planetary 6. Organic 5b. Subsurface 5 Hours Protection Nutrients? Transport? Effective? Required Minimal Clean Room Planetary Clean Room Assembly Protection Assembly Required Key to Planetary Protection Endpoints Clean room assembly but no bioload reduction required for Clean Room planetary protection Assembly Minimal planetary protection required, including NASA Minimal standard cleaning and bioload monitoring, heating sealed Planetary components to 60C for 5 hours, and molecular bioload Protection analysis Required Stringent planetary protection required, including NASA Stringent standard cleaning and bioload monitoring, molecular bioload Planetary Protection analysis, and Viking-level, terminal bioload reduction; or Required cancel mission FIGURE C.1 Continued.