systems that are not physically separated has not yet been assessed. Analyses of this type could also be used to refine assessments of the risk of critical failure, mission-limiting damage, and damage requiring repairs to determine which areas of the shuttle require more protection and to determine whether operational and procedural modifications could decrease the risk.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation 1. NASA should reevaluate the current guideline that allows the shuttle to experience a 1/200 probability per mission of critical failure from the impact of meteoroids or orbital debris. A lower allowable risk appears to be more appropriate.

Recommendation 2. NASA should establish a survivability assessment process and conduct a systematic survivability assessment of the entire shuttle orbiter—including all subsystems and components—against the meteoroid and debris hazard. The assessment should be integrated with assessments of the risk from other on-orbit hazards, as well as the risk from ascent and reentry, to create a complete, integrated, peer-reviewed PRA for the shuttle.

Recommendation 3. NASA should continue to assess in detail the vulnerability of areas of the shuttle orbiter that are predicted to contribute most to the overall risk of critical failure, mission-limiting damage, and damage requiring repair.

REFERENCES

Austin, L. 1997. Space shuttle meteoroid/debris risk management. Briefing presented to the Committee on Space Shuttle Meteoroid/Debris Risk Management, Washington, D.C., April 27, 1997.


Ball, R.E. 1985. The Fundamentals of Aircraft Combat Survivability Analysis and Design. New York: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Brekke, M. 1997. Meteoroid/debris risk assessment process overview. Briefing to the Committee on Space Shuttle Meteoroid/Debris Risk Management, Houston, Texas, June 16, 1997.


Hasselbeck, M., D.Picetti, and M.Koharchik. 1997. Space shuttle orbiter on-orbit impact critical failure criteria. Briefing to the Committee on Space Shuttle Meteoroid/Debris Risk Management, Houston, Texas, June 17, 1997.


Loftus, J.P., 1997. E-mail to the Committee on Space Shuttle Meteoroid/Debris Risk Management from Joseph Loftus, Jr., Assistant Director (Plans), NASA Johnson Space Center, September 12, 1997.


SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation). 1995. Shuttle Probabilistic Risk Assessment. Washington, D.C.: Center for Aerospace Information.


Williams, J. 1997. Science Applications International Corporation Briefing to Johnson Space Center, August 6, 1997. San Diego, California: Science Applications International Corporation.



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