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Executive Summary Since the late 1960s, the post-Apollo future of human space exploration has been a subject of ongoing debate, incremental decisions, variable political sup- port, ceaseless studies, and little progress or commitment toward a well-defined long-term goal. In 1989, President Bush attempted to establish a direction by announcing a long-term goal for the U.S. space program of returning humans to the Moon and then voyaging to Mars early in the 21st century. His proposal did not win political support. Indeed, implementation of human exploration of the solar system for a time virtually disappeared from public discussion, largely as a result of greatly increased federal budget pressures and the end of the Cold War, which in combination have brought about a de facto reprioritization of national goals, including an examination of the entire rationale for the U.S. civil space program. Recently, steps have been taken to initiate integrated planning for the explo- ration of Mars. In parallel, the goals of the International Space Station (ISS) program include the conduct of life science research and the acquisition of prac- tical operational experience needed to resolve issues related to long-duration hu- man spaceflight. Concurrently, robotic exploration of the Moon and Mars is being pursued by the United States and other countries. The Space Studies Board (SSB) constituted the Committee on Human Ex- ploration (CHEX) in 1989 to examine the general question of the space science component of a future human exploration program. The first CHEX report, Scientific Prerequisitesfor the Human Exploration of Space, addressed the ques- tion of what scientific knowledge is required to enable prolonged human space missions. The second CHEX report, Scientific Opportunities in the Human Ex
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2 SCIENCE MANAGEMENT IN THE HUMAN EXPLORATION OF SPACE proration of Space,2 addressed the question of what scientific opportunities might derive from prolonged human space missions. During the development of these first two reports, it became evident to the committee that the mode of interaction between space science and human explo- ration has varied over the years, as evidenced by a succession of different NASA organizational structures. The committee reviewed the history of this interaction with the objective of developing a "lessons-learned" set of principles and recom- mendations for the future. The principles and recommendations thus evolved for managing the science component of a Moon/Mars program, whenever and how- ever it is pursued, transcend political and administrative changes. While this report is not intended to dictate precise organizational models, application of these principles and recommendations should facilitate a produc- tive integration of science into a program of human exploration. PRINCIPLES FOR SCIENCE MANAGEMENT Three broad principles emerged from the committee's survey of past pro- grams: INTEGRATED SCIENCE PROGRAM The scientific study of specific planetary bodies, such as the Moon and Mars, should be treated as an integral part of an overall solar system science program and not separated out simply because there may be concurrent interest in human exploration of those bodies. Thus, there should be a single Headquarters office responsible for conducting the scientific aspects of solar system exploration. CLEAR PROGRAM GOALS AND PRIORITIES A program of human space- flight will have political, engineering, and technological goals in addition to its scientific goals. To avoid confusion and misunderstandings, the objectives of each individual component project or mission that integrates space science and human spaceflight should be clearly specified and prioritized. JOINT SPA CEFLIGHT/SCIENCE PROGRAM OFFICE The offices respon- sible for human spaceflight and space science should jointly establish and staff a program office to collaboratively implement the scientific component of human exploration. As a model, that office should have responsibilities, functions, and reporting relationships similar to those that supported science in the Apollo, Skylab, and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) missions. MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS In addition to these broad principles, the committee developed a number of specific recommendations on managing space research in the context of a human
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY exploration program. Divided into three general categories, these recommenda- tions are as follows. Science Prerequisites for Human Exploration (Enabling Science) 1. The program office charged with human exploration should establish the scientific and programmatic requirements needed to resolve the critical research and optimal performance issues enabling a human exploration program, such as a human mission to Mars. To define these requirements, the program office may enlist the assistance of other NASA offices, federal agencies, and the outside research community. 2. The scientific investigations required to resolve critical enabling research and optimal performance issues for a human exploration program should be se- lected by NASA's Headquarters science offices, or other designated agencies, using selection procedures based on broad solicitation, open and equitable com- petition, peer review, and adequate post-selection debriefings. 3. NASA should maintain a dedicated biomedical sciences office headed by a life scientist. This office should be given management visibility and decision- making authority commensurate with its critical role in the program. The option of having this office report directly to the NASA Administrator should be given careful consideration. Science Enabled by Human Exploration 4. Each space research discipline should maintain a science strategy to be used as the basis for planning, prioritizing, selecting, and managing science, in- cluding that enabled by a human exploration program. 5. NASA's Headquarters science offices should select the scientific experi- ments enabled by a human exploration program according to established prac- tices: community-wide opportunity announcements, open and equitable compe- tition, and peer review. 6. The offices responsible for human exploration and for space science should jointly create a formal organizational structure for managing the enabled science component of a human exploration program. Institutional Issues 7. Officials responsible for review of activities or protocols relating to hu- man health and safety and planetary protection on human and robotic missions should be independent of the implementing program offices. 8. The external research community should have a leading role in defining and carrying out the scientific experiments conducted within a human explora- tion program.
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4 SCIENCE MANAGEMENT IN THE HUMAN EXPLORATION OF SPACE 9. A human exploration program organization must incorporate scientific personnel to assist in program planning and operations, and to serve as an inter- face between internal project management and the external scientific community. Such "in-house" scientists should be of a professional caliber that will enable them to compete on an equal basis with their academic colleagues for research opportunities offered by human exploration missions. 10. Working through their partnership in a joint spaceflight/science program office, the science offices should control the overall science management pro- cess, including the budgeting and disbursement of research funds. REFERENCES 1. Space Studies Board, National Research Council, Scientific Prerequisites for the Human Exploration of Space, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1993. 2. Space Studies Board, National Research Council, Scientific Opportunities in the Human Ex- ploration of Space, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1994.