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.
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.
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