Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration

Steering Group for the Workshop on Biology-based Technology for Enhanced Space Exploration

Space Studies Board

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington D.C. 1998



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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration Steering Group for the Workshop on Biology-based Technology for Enhanced Space Exploration Space Studies Board Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington D.C. 1998

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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the steering group responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by contract NASW-96013 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, or conclusions expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor. Copyright © 1998 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Copies of this report are available from: Space Studies Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration STEERING GROUP FOR THE WORKSHOP ON BIOLOGY-BASED TECHNOLOGY FOR ENHANCED SPACE EXPLORATION Gerard W. Elverum, TRW Space and Technology Group (retired), Chair James P. Bagian, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Rita R. Colwell, University of Maryland Bruce Dunn, University of California at Los Angeles Donald R. Humphrey, Emory University School of Medicine Takeo Kanade, Carnegie Mellon University Rodolfo R. Llinas, New York University Medical Center Samuel I. Stupp, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Staff Joseph L. Zelibor, Jr., Study Director Amber Whipkey, Project Assistant Laura Ost, Consultant

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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration SPACE STUDIES BOARD Claude R. Canizares, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair Mark R. Abbott, Oregon State University Daniel N. Baker, University of Colorado Lawrence Bogorad, Harvard University Donald E. Brownlee, University of Washington Gerard W. Elverum, Jr., TRW Space and Technology Group Anthony W. England, University of Michigan Marilyn L. Fogel, Carnegie Institute of Washington Ronald Greeley, Arizona State University Bill Green, Former Member, U.S. House of Representatives Andrew H. Knoll, Harvard University Roberta Balstad Miller, CIESIN Berrien Moore III, University of New Hampshire Mary Jane Osborn, University of Connecticut Health Center Simon Ostrach, Case Western Reserve University Morton B. Panish, AT&T Bell Laboratories (Retired) Carlé M. Pieters, Brown University Thomas A. Prince, California Institute of Technology Pedro L. Rustan, Jr., U.S. Air Force (Retired) John A. Simpson, Enrico Fermi Institute George L. Siscoe, Boston University Edward M. Stolper, California Institute of Technology Raymond Viskanta, Purdue University Robert E. Williams, Space Telescope Science Institute Marc S. Allen, Director (through December 12, 1997) Joseph K. Alexander, Director (as of February 17, 1998)

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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS Robert J. Hermann, United Technologies Corporation, Co-chair W. Carl Lineberger, University of Colorado, Co-chair Peter M. Banks, ERIM International, Inc. William Browder, Princeton University Lawrence D. Brown, University of Pennsylvania Ronald G. Douglas, Texas A&M University John E. Estes, University of California at Santa Barbara Martha P. Haynes, Cornell University L. Louis Hegedus, Elf Atochem North America, Inc. John E. Hopcroft, Cornell University Carol M. Jantzen, Westinghouse Savannah River Company Paul G. Kaminski, Technovation, Inc. Kenneth H. Keller, University of Minnesota Kenneth I. Kellermann, National Radio Astronomy Observatory Margaret G. Kivelson, University of California at Los Angeles Daniel Kleppner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology John Kreick, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company Marsha I. Lester, University of Pennsylvania Nicholas P. Samios, Brookhaven National Chang-Lin Tien, University of California at Berkeley Norman Metzger, Executive Director

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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration Foreword It is inevitable that humans will someday venture beyond low Earth orbit to renew our exploration of the solar system. Whether this occurs sooner or later depends largely on our ability to achieve the necessary technical capability at an affordable cost, something quite debatable at present. The workshop reported on here was effectively a brainstorming session to consider somewhat unconventional technologies based on biology or biological systems. Although most of the technologies required to enable exploration are likely to be extensions of more traditional systems and devices, biology-based technologies have some very attractive features that might be of great benefit for human well-being and enhanced performance during longduration spaceflight. It is unlikely that all or even most of the possibilities suggested here will actually grow into viable technologies useful to future astronauts. But they do represent a first attempt at defining fruitful avenues for further consideration, research, and evaluation. And one hopes that they will serve to stimulate the creative imaginations of other researchers to conceive additional possibilities. Claude R. Canizares Chair, Space Studies Board

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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration Preface The application of biological concepts and principles to the development of technologies for space exploration is an exciting idea that has sparked the interest of many people, including top-level NASA officials. To help guide its activities in this area, NASA's Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications (OLMSA) requested that the Space Studies Board organize an informal workshop to identify areas in biology-based technology research that appear to hold special promise for carrying biological science into technology directly applicable to space exploration. The product of this workshop was to be a letter report listing general topics and opportunities deserving further discussion and analysis, which might in turn be the subjects of future workshops. At a workshop planning meeting held in Washington, D.C., on June 10, 1997, the Steering Group for the Workshop on Biology-based Technology for Enhanced Space Exploration (Appendix A) and OLMSA representatives determined that the workshop should strive not only to identify promising biology-based research areas as topics for follow-on focused workshops, but also to develop more specific findings that would support NASA's research planning more directly. As a result, the scope of the workshop was expanded to include prioritizing the technology requirements—identified by NASA—in three enabling technology areas (habitat systems, human systems, and advanced operations and teleoperations); identifying biology-based principles or concepts that could be applied to meet or enhance the technology requirements; describing the state of understanding of those principles today; and identifying gaps in research and technology work needed to enable a concept design or demonstration. During the workshop, however, it became clear to the participants that fully addressing all of the elements in the expanded scope of work would require a more systematic and detailed understanding of mission requirements than could be obtained in an initial workshop. Accordingly, this report outlines, in Chapter 4, possible steps in a systems engineering approach to defining mission needs as a prelude to exploring how to meet those needs in the future. The workshop steering group faced two primary challenges: delimiting the task and understanding NASA's technology requirements. NASA representatives had made it clear that the focus should be on missions involving actual human presence at the exploration site. However, systems designed to carry out such missions are enormously complicated. The technologies required, and the mix of disciplines that inform their development, cover a broad

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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration range. It is likely that many of the essential major subsystems have components in which biological concepts or principles could be applied. The challenge was thus to contain the extent of inquiry sufficiently to produce usable results, while also ensuring that essential needs and the most promising approaches were addressed. Accordingly, the workshop steering group identified two themes to guide workshop discussions: enhancing human well-being, and enhancing human presence and function. At the workshop planning meeting, there was considerable discussion regarding the need for workshop participants to have a fairly definitive understanding of NASA's system and system element requirements for envisioned human exploration missions, along with information about how conventional systems fall short of enabling long-duration missions to Mars and other planets. A substantial amount of information was provided by NASA regarding mission needs, but much of it was more general than workshop planners had hoped. Given the limited amount of detail available on NASA needs, the discussions of workshop participants were based on first principles. The workshop was held on October 21-22, 1997, at the Center for Advanced Space Studies in Houston, Texas (Appendix B includes the agenda and list of the participants). The participants included specialists in a variety of fields, including aquaculture, biomedical engineering, bioprocess engineering, botany, chemical engineering, environmental and industrial microbiology, kinesiology, materials science, mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, molecular biology, neurology, pharmacology and physiology, plant pathology, pomology, public health, robotics, sensor technology, and space medicine. The workshop began with a plenary session at which a number of NASA's mission and technology managers provided general summaries of their current visions of scenarios and technology needs for near-term human exploration missions. The two subsequent discussion sessions focused on identifying areas in biology-based research with a potential for (1) enhancing human well-being in space exploration and (2) enhancing human presence and function in space exploration. These two sessions were organized to emphasize, respectively (1) life support, habitat systems, and human health; and (2) perception, manipulation and locomotion, cognition, and systems and computation. Following the workshop, participants attempted to ground the discussions in the literature and to assess the ideas presented to the degree possible, based on current understanding of the principles involved and available NASA design criteria and ongoing research. However, several ideas introduced during the workshop were not included in this workshop report because they could not be justified scientifically. The workshop organizers envisioned that NASA would pursue follow-on activities, such as workshops or research, that would involve necessary technical evaluation, including weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the biology-based technologies, comparing their performance with that of conventional systems, and determining where the innovative technologies might best be applied (e.g., on a spacecraft or on the planetary surface). The results of this initial workshop suggest that there is good reason for excitement. This report identifies a number of research topics and opportunities deserving of further attention by NASA. A number of individuals helped make the workshop a success. In particular, the Space Studies Board wishes to thank Arnauld Nicogossian, associate administrator, Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications, NASA Headquarters, for requesting the workshop

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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration and for his presentation at the steering group's planning meeting. Special thanks are due to Diana Hoyt, Darrell Jan, and Bette Siegel, NASA Headquarters, for serving as the project 's points of contact at NASA, and to Walter Hanby, Johnson Space Center, for helping to organize the NASA plenary speakers for the workshop. The steering group thanks John Anderson, Minoo Dastoor, Steve Davison, Guy Fogleman, Diana Hoyt, Darrell Jan, John Mankins, and Frank Sulzman, NASA Headquarters, and Douglas Cooke, Johnson Space Center, for their presentations at the steering group's planning meeting. The steering group also thanks Douglas Cooke, Bret Drake, Jon Erickson, Donald Henninger, Kriss Kennedy, James Maida, Robert Savely, and Charles Sawin, Johnson Space Center, for their technical presentations during the plenary session at the workshop. Finally, the steering group expresses its appreciation to the staff of Center for Advanced Space Studies, Houston, Texas, in particular, Gail Pachetti and Teri Jones, for their administrative assistance during the workshop. The assistance of Lisa May, Jackson-May Associates, and Guy Orgambide, SciLink Inc., is gratefully acknowledged.

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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's (NRC's) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Michael Albin, Perkin-Elmer Corporation, John Baross, University of Washington, Aaron Cohen, Texas A&M University, John E. Estes, University of California, Santa Barbara, Johann Peter Gogarten, University of Connecticut, Robert Langer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Gerald E. Loeb, Queen's University, and John W. Townsend, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (retired). Although the individuals listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring steering group and the NRC.

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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1  1   INTRODUCTION   7      Charge and Approach,   7      NASA Presentations,   9      Mars Mission Planning,   9      Exploration Technology Requirements,   9      Risks Associated with Mars Missions,   11      Advanced Habitat Concepts,   11      Advanced Life Support,   12      Human-Machine Interfaces,   13      Robotics and Automation,   13      Information Processing,   14  2   ENHANCING HUMAN WELL-BEING IN SPACE EXPLORATION   15      Study Approach,   15      Functional Needs,   15      Regenerative Life Support,   15      Spacecraft and Habitats,   16      Health of Humans and Useful Biological Organisms,   16      Potential Biology-based Research Opportunities,   17      Ensure a Renewable Supply of Clean Water and Air,   17      Develop Plants for Use as Food and Other Consumables,   18      Enhance the Versatility and Function of Habitats,   22      Facilitate Detection of Pollutants and Pathogens, and Monitor Health Status,   24      Control Growth of Potentially Harmful Organisms,   27      Enhance Protection Against Exposure to Radiation,   28      Summary,   29      References,   29

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Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration  3   ENHANCING HUMAN PRESENCE AND FUNCTION IN SPACE EXPLORATION   36      Study Approach,   36      Functional Needs,   38      Perception,   38      Manipulation and Locomotion,   38      Cognition,   39      Systems and Computation for Mission Planning and Execution,   39      Potential Biology-based Research Opportunities,   39      Improve Space Suit Design,   39      Maintain and Improve Physical State,   41      Enhance Adaptation to New Environments,   42      Enhance Visual Input/Output,   43      Develop Synergistic Human-Robot Systems,   45      Monitor Cognitive States,   47      Provide “PI” in a Box,   49      Summary,   49      References,   50  4   ADDITIONAL OBSERVATIONS   54      A Systematic Approach to Defining Mission Needs,   54      Technology Watch,   55     APPENDIXES       A Biographical Sketches of Workshop Steering Group Members   61     B Workshop Agenda and Participants   65