Stepping-Stones to the Future of Space Exploration
A Workshop Report
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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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. This study was supported by Contract NASW-99037 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project.
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Copyright 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
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STEERING COMMITTEE FOR WORKSHOPS ON ISSUES OF TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FOR HUMAN AND ROBOTIC EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF SPACE
DARRELL R. BRANSCOME, Chair,
Science Applications International Corporation, Hampton, Virginia
Honeybee Robotics, Ltd., New York, New York
MOLLY K. MACAULEY,
Resources for the Future, Inc., Washington, D.C.
DAVA J. NEWMAN,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
ERIC E. RICE,
ORBITEC, Madison, Wisconsin
CHARLES R. TRIMBLE,
U.S. Global Positioning System Industry Council, Sunnyvale, California
CHARLES D. WALKER,
Boeing Company, Arlington, Virginia
KAREN E. HARWELL, Study Director
GEORGE M. LEVIN, Director,
Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
BRIDGET R. EDMONDS, Senior Project Assistant
AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD
WILLIAM W. HOOVER, Chair,
U.S. Air Force (retired), Williamsburg, Virginia
RUZENA K. BAJCSY (NAE/IOM),
University of California at Berkeley
JAMES (MICKY) BLACKWELL,
Lockheed Martin (retired), Marietta, Georgia
EDWARD M. BOLEN,
General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Washington, D.C.
ANTHONY J. BRODERICK,
Aviation Safety Consultant, Catlett, Virginia
SUSAN M. COUGHLIN,
Aviation Safety Alliance, Washington, D.C.
ROBERT L. CRIPPEN,
Thiokol Propulsion (retired), Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
DONALD L. CROMER,
U.S. Air Force (retired) and Hughes Space and Communications (retired), Fallbrook, California
JOSEPH FULLER, JR.,
Futron Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland
GRA Incorporated, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania
S. MICHAEL HUDSON,
Rolls-Royce North America (retired), Indianapolis
JOHN L. JUNKINS (NAE),
Texas A&M University, College Station
JOHN M. KLINEBERG,
Space Systems/Loral (retired), Redwood City, California
ILAN M. KROO,
Stanford University, Stanford, California
JOHN K. LAUBER,
Airbus North America, Inc., Washington, D.C.
GEORGE K. MUELLNER,
The Boeing Company, Long Beach, California
DAVA J. NEWMAN,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
Lockheed Martin Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland
Logistics Management Institute, McLean, Virginia
KATHRYN C. THORNTON,
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
HANSEL E. TOOKES II,
Raytheon International Inc. (retired), Falls Church, Virginia
ROBERT W. WALKER,
Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates, Washington, D.C.
DIANNE S. WILEY,
The Boeing Company, Arlington, Virginia
THOMAS L. WILLIAMS,
Northrop Grumman, El Segundo, California
GEORGE LEVIN, Director
The Office of Space Flight’s Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) Exploration Program within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has so far focused on long-term objectives such as the human exploration of the solar system.1 One previous effort in the Office of Space Flight was Technology for Human/Robotic Exploration and Development of Space (THREADS), which focused on three main areas of investment: (1) systems analysis and advanced concepts, (2) HEDS-enabling advanced research and technology, and (3) technology flight demonstration projects. THREADS was a new framework for space technology investment described as being driven by science and addressing NASA’s largest challenges. The National Research Council (NRC) was tasked in the summer of 2001 with providing a multiyear review of the requirements, priorities, process, and content of the THREADS roadmaps. The THREADS project, canceled by NASA Headquarters in September 2001, was perceived by many as the only means for strategic planning for space technology development within the HEDS portfolio. The NRC study was also canceled at that time.
However, responding to the need for increased external input into its planning processes, NASA’s Office of Space Flight asked the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) at NRC to plan a series of open workshops on issues important to technology development for human and robotic exploration and development of space (see Appendix A for the statement of task). Issues surrounding this topic include the development of specific processes to guide technology development, the need for pervasive strategic planning for technology development at NASA, increased synergy between NASA and other government agencies in technology development, and the need to address the development of space in a manner that involves the stakeholders. Key to this effort was the planning of a series of workshops to investigate related issues within a new framework, similar to the THREADS framework but entitled Advanced Systems, Technologies, Research, and Analysis (ASTRA).
The National Academies convened a steering committee to plan the workshops (see Appendix B for biographies of steering committee members). The first workshop focused on general policy issues concerning the development and demonstration of space technologies. The second workshop, still in the planning stage, will focus on the interrelationship between government and industry in the development of advanced space systems.
The first workshop took place February 23-24, 2004, in Washington, D.C. Participants included government, industry, and academic stakeholders in space technology policy, and the open discussions centered on four main topics—the rationale
On January 14, 2004, President George W. Bush announced a new space exploration vision (seehttp://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/01/20040114-1.html). In response, NASA has reorganized many resources and programs to better meet the requirements for this vision. Most programs related to human and robotic technology are now within the new Office for Exploration Systems (Code T).
for space exploration and development, technology and capability transformation,2 risk mitigation, and international cooperation. The workshop agenda is presented in Appendix C and the list of participants in Appendix D.
The workshop was intended to provide a forum for various stakeholders to discuss technology policy issues related to long-term cultivation of advanced space systems. This report represents a factual summary, prepared by the committee with staff assistance, of the proceedings of the workshop. The workshop report is not a comprehensive report on technology policy issues surrounding human and robotic exploration and development of space, but rather a synopsis of the presentations by individual panelists and speakers and discussion at the workshop. It should not be taken as a consensus report of the ASEB or the National Research Council.
The intent of this workshop was to provide a broad overview of issues related to human and robotic space exploration. Although the direction of several speaker’s presentations appeared focused on the human aspect of space exploration, the focusing questions provided to the panelists were balanced in their treatment of the topic. Though not an agenda item, the reorganization of NASA following the January 14, 2004, announcement by President George W. Bush of a new vision for space exploration was discussed by most panelists during their remarks. The announcement noticeably affected discussion at the workshop. The steering committee was not tasked with analyzing or commenting on the new vision and the accompanying reorganization. However, the new organizational structure at NASA does affect the environment in which space technology is developed at NASA and the context in which the workshop was held.
This report is organized as follows: Chapter 2 provides an introduction to the workshop’s topic. Chapter 3 discusses the rationale for human and robotic exploration of space. Chapters 4 contains an overview of the new NASA organization and a proposed framework for space technology development. Chapters 5 through 7 cover the remaining three workshop topics—technology and capability transformation, risk mitigation, and international cooperation.
Darrell R. Branscome
Chair, Steering Committee for Workshops on Issues of Technology
Development for Human and Robotic Exploration and Development of Space
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its 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 review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Howard Baum, National Institute of Standards and Technology,
Joseph Fuller, Futron Corporation,
Noel Hinners, Lockheed Martin (retired),
Simon Ostrach, Case Western Reserve University,
Thomas Prince, California Institute of Technology, and
Ian Pryke, George Mason University.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Thomas Sheridan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.