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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×

Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce

Interim Report

Committee on Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration

Space Studies Board

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×

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. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study is based on work supported by the Contract NASW-01001 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.

International Standard Book Number 0-309-10217-0

Cover design by Celeste A. Naylor.

Cover images courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C.

Copies of this report are available free of charge from:

Space Studies Board

National Research Council

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Washington, DC 20001

Additional copies of this report are available from the
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Copyright 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


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. Ralph J. Cicerone 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. Wm. 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. Harvey V. Fineberg 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. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×

Other Reports of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Venus Missions: Letter Report (SSB, 2006)

Distributed Arrays of Small Instruments for Solar-Terrestrial Research: Report of a Workshop (SSB, 2006)

The Astrophysical Context of Life (SSB with the Board on Life Sciences, 2005)

Earth Science and Applications from Space: Urgent Needs and Opportunities to Serve the Nation (SSB, 2005)

Extending the Effective Lifetimes of Earth Observing Research Missions (SSB, 2005)

Government/Industry/Academic Relationships for Technology Development: A Workshop Report (ASEB, 2005)

Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars (SSB, 2005)

Principal-Investigator-Led Missions in the Space Sciences (SSB, 2005)

Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion (SSB with ASEB, 2005)

Review of Goals and Plans for NASA’s Space and Earth Sciences (SSB, 2005)

Review of NASA Plans for the International Space Station (SSB, 2005)

Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration (SSB, 2005)

Technology Pathways—Assessing the Integrated Plan for a Next Generation Air Transportation System (ASEB, 2005)

Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Final Report (SSB with ASEB, 2004)

Exploration of the Outer Heliosphere and the Local Interstellar Medium: A Workshop Report (SSB, 2004)

Issues and Opportunities Regarding the U.S. Space Program: A Summary Report of a Workshop on National Space Policy (SSB with ASEB, 2004)

Plasma Physics of the Local Cosmos (SSB, 2004)

Review of Proposals for NASA’s Intelligent Propulsion Systems Foundation Technology Program (ASEB, 2004)

Review of Science Requirements for the Terrestrial Planet Finder: Letter Report (SSB, 2004)

Solar and Space Physics and Its Role in Space Exploration (SSB, 2004)

Stepping Stones to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report (ASEB, 2004)

Systems Integration for Project Constellation (ASEB, 2004)

Understanding the Sun and Solar System Plasmas: Future Directions in Solar and Space Physics (SSB, 2004)

Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond (SSB with ASEB and the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate [BASC], 2004)

Vehicle Systems Panel Report on the Status of NASA’s Vehicle Systems Program (ASEB, 2004)

An Assessment of NASA’s Aeronautics Technology Program (ASEB, 2003)

An Assessment of NASA’s Pioneering Revolutionary Technology Program (ASEB, 2003)

Assessment of NASA’s Draft 2003 Earth Science Enterprise Strategy: Letter Report (SSB, 2003)

Assessment of NASA’s Draft 2003 Space Science Enterprise Strategy: Letter Report (SSB, 2003)

Interim Report of NRC Review of NASA’s Pioneering Revolutionary Technology Program (ASEB, 2003)

Satellite Observations of the Earth’s Environment: Accelerating the Transition of Research to Operations (SSB with ASEB and BASC, 2003)

Securing the Future of U.S. Air Transportation: A System in Peril (ASEB, 2003)

Steps to Facilitate Principal-Investigator-Led Earth Science Missions (SSB, 2003)

The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: Panel Reports (SSB, 2003)


Limited copies of SSB reports are available free of charge from:


Space Studies Board

National Research Council

The Keck Center of the National Academies

500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001

(202) 334-3477/ssb@nas.edu

www.nationalacademies.org/ssb/ssb.html

NOTE: Listed according to year of approval for release.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×

COMMITTEE ON MEETING THE WORKFORCE NEEDS FOR THE NATIONAL VISION FOR SPACE EXPLORATION

DAVID C. BLACK,

Universities Space Research Association,

Co-chair

DANIEL E. HASTINGS,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Co-chair

BURT S. BARNOW,

Johns Hopkins University

JOHN W. DOUGLASS,

Aerospace Industries Association of America, Inc.

RAY M. HAYNES,

Northrop Grumman Space Technology

MARGARET G. KIVELSON,

University of California, Los Angeles

WILLIAM POMERANTZ,

X PRIZE Foundation

JOSEPH H. ROTHENBERG,

Universal Space Network

KATHRYN C. THORNTON,

University of Virginia

Staff

JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER, Study Director

DWAYNE A. DAY, Research Associate

CATHERINE A. GRUBER, Assistant Editor

CELESTE NAYLOR, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×

SPACE STUDIES BOARD

LENNARD A. FISK,

University of Michigan,

Chair

GEORGE A. PAULIKAS,

The Aerospace Corporation (retired),

Vice Chair

SPIRO K. ANTIOCHOS,

Naval Research Laboratory

DANIEL N. BAKER,

University of Colorado

RETA F. BEEBE,

New Mexico State University

ROGER D. BLANDFORD,

Stanford University

RADFORD BYERLY, JR.,

University of Colorado

JUDITH A. CURRY,

Georgia Institute of Technology

JACK D. FARMER,

Arizona State University

JACQUELINE N. HEWITT,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

DONALD INGBER,

Harvard Medical Center

RALPH H. JACOBSON,

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (retired)

TAMARA E. JERNIGAN,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

KLAUS KEIL,

University of Hawaii

DEBRA S. KNOPMAN,

RAND Corporation

CALVIN W. LOWE,

Bowie State University

BERRIEN MOORE III,

University of New Hampshire

NORMAN NEUREITER,

Texas Instruments (retired)

SUZANNE OPARIL,

University of Alabama, Birmingham

RONALD F. PROBSTEIN,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

DENNIS W. READEY,

Colorado School of Mines

HARVEY D. TANANBAUM,

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

RICHARD H. TRULY,

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (retired)

J. CRAIG WHEELER,

University of Texas, Austin

A. THOMAS YOUNG,

Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired)

GARY P. ZANK,

University of California, Riverside

MARCIA S. SMITH, Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×

AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD

RAYMOND S. COLLADAY,

Lockheed Martin Astronautics (retired),

Chair

WILLIAM L. BALLHAUS,

BAE Systems National Security Solutions

CHARLES F. BOLDEN, JR.,

Independent Consultant

EDWARD M. BOLEN,

National Business Aviation Association

ANTHONY J. BRODERICK,

Aviation Safety Consultant

JOHN PAUL BARRINGTON CLARKE,

Georgia Institute of Technology

PHILIP CONDIT,

The Boeing Company (retired)

ROBERT L. CRIPPEN,

Thiokol Propulsion (retired)

DONALD L. CROMER,

U.S. Air Force (retired), Hughes Space and Communications Company (retired)

RICHARD M. GOODY,

Harvard University (emeritus)

PRESTON HENNE,

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

WILLIAM HOOVER,

U.S. Air Force (retired)

S. MICHAEL HUDSON,

Rolls Royce North America (retired)

JOHN M. KLINEBERG,

Space Systems/Loral (retired)

ILAN M. KROO,

Stanford University

MOLLY K. MACAULEY,

Resources for the Future

FORREST S. McCARTNEY,

Lockheed Martin Astronautics (retired)

ELON MUSK,

Space Exploration Development Corporation – Space X

AMY PRITCHETT,

Georgia Institute of Technology

ROBERT R. RANKINE, JR.,

Hughes Space and Communications Co. (retired)

DEBRA L. RUB-ZENKO,

The Boeing Company

CYNTHIA SAMUELSON,

Logistics Management Institute

PETER STAUDHAMMER,

University of Southern California

HANSEL E. TOOKES II,

Raytheon International, Inc. (retired)

RAY VALEIKA,

Delta Airlines, Inc. (retired)

ROBERT S. WALKER,

Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates

ROBERT WHITEHEAD,

National Institute of Aerospace

THOMAS L. WILLIAMS,

Northrop Grumman

GEORGE M. LEVIN, Director

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×

Preface

In January 2004 President George W. Bush announced a new civilian space policy that soon became known as the vision for space exploration. The vision had several cornerstones, including retiring the space shuttle by 2010, completing the International Space Station, and establishing a broad goal for human exploration of the Moon and Mars. The first steps in the new human exploration phase involve developing a new spacecraft for transporting humans into space, developing a lunar lander spacecraft, and building new launch vehicles for both spacecraft.

On September 30, 2005, Scott Pace, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Associate Administrator for Program Assessment and Evaluation, sent a letter to Lennard Fisk, chair of the National Research Council (NRC) Space Studies Board (SSB), requesting that the SSB and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) help assess the current and future supply of qualified U.S. aerospace professionals and identify realistic, actionable solutions to meeting any identified needs (see Appendix A). In late 2005, the NRC Committee on Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration was formed under the auspices of the SSB and ASEB to respond to the NASA request. The committee (Appendix F) comprises 9 members from a diverse range of backgrounds and includes experts from both the science and the engineering communities, as well as members who reflect the traditional U.S. science and technology triangle of government, academia, and industry. The committee also includes members from the emerging entrepreneurial community, as well as experts from outside the space community.

The committee was tasked with conducting a study to explore long-range science and technology workforce needs to achieve the nation’s space exploration vision, identify obstacles to filling those needs, and put forward solutions for consideration by government, academia, and industry. The study’s focus is the particular needs of NASA and the larger aerospace science and engineering community. The full statement of task for the study is in Appendix B.

On January 23-25, 2006, the committee held a 2-day workshop to identify the important factors affecting NASA’s future workforce and its capacity to implement the new vision. The specific goal of the workshop was to identify and shape the issues to be explored by the committee in preparing its final report and to identify the available data on NASA’s workforce. The workshop involved approximately three dozen participants from government, academia, and industry. The full workshop agenda and participant list are in Appendix C. At a second meeting on February 22, 2006, the committee gathered additional information regarding the results of NASA’s analysis of current and future workforce competencies, and it also had discussions with representatives from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and aerospace industry. The agenda for that meeting is in Appendix D.

This document, which responds to NASA’s request for an interim report on the results of the initial stage of the study, presents the committee’s summary of highlights of the workshop and provides initial, but incomplete, findings with respect to the first three items in the study charge, namely to:

  1. Assess current and projected demographics of the U.S. aerospace engineering and space science workforce needed to accomplish the exploration vision;

  2. Identify factors that impact the demographics of the affected workforces; and

  3. Assess NASA’s list of the workforce skills that will be needed to implement the vision for space exploration, both within the government and in industry.

This interim report also presents initial recommendations that stem from the committee’s conclusions to date. The committee’s full report will be completed in early 2007.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×

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:

Robert D. Braun, Georgia Institute of Technology,

Gerald J. Chodil, Ball Aerospace Corporation (retired),

Raymond S. Colladay, Lockheed Martin Astronautics (retired),

Lennard A. Fisk, University of Michigan,

Ron Hira, Rochester Institute of Technology,

Martin H. Israel, Washington University, St. Louis, and

Ronald L. Oaxaca, University of Arizona.

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 Lester A. Hoel, University of Virginia, and Porter E. Coggeshall, National Research Council. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were 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.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×

Contents

 

 

SUMMARY

 

1

1

 

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

6

   

 The Vision for Space Exploration,

 

7

   

 The NASA Science and Engineering Enterprise,

 

8

   

 The NASA Workforce Environment,

 

9

2

 

NASA’S EXPLORATION PLANS AND WORKFORCE IMPLICATIONS

 

10

   

 General Conclusions,

 

14

3

 

SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING WORKFORCE DEMOGRAPHICS

 

16

   

 National Science Foundation Studies on Enrollment and Graduation Trends,

 

16

   

 Bureau of Labor Statistics Labor Force Projections,

 

17

   

 Booze Allen Hamilton Studies on the Space Industrial Base,

 

18

   

 Department of Defense Perspectives on the S&E Workforce,

 

19

   

 Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry Assessment,

 

20

   

 Industry Perspectives on the Future Aerospace Workforce,

 

20

   

 General Conclusions,

 

21

4

 

FACTORS AFFECTING THE AEROSPACE S&E WORKFORCE

 

22

   

 Shipbuilding as a Model for NASA Planning,

 

22

   

 Information Technology as a Parallel for NASA Planning,

 

23

   

 Nuclear Reactor Program as a Parallel for NASA Planning,

 

24

   

 A Perspective from U.S. Universities,

 

24

   

 Industry Perspectives,

 

25

   

 Recurring Themes,

 

26

   

 Key Factors,

 

27

5

 

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

 

29

 

 

APPENDIXES

 

 

   

A   NASA Letter of Request

 

33

   

B   Statement of Task

 

35

   

C   Workshop Agenda and Participant List

 

36

   

D   Committee Meeting Agenda, February 22, 2006

 

40

   

E   NASA List of Competencies and Current Agency Population

 

41

   

F   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff

 

44

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
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Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11642.
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In January 2006, the President announced a new civilian space policy focusing on exploration. As part of its preparations to implement that policy, NASA asked the NRC to explore long-range science and technology workforce needs to achieve the space exploration vision, identify obstacles to filling those needs, and put forward solutions to those obstacles. As part of the study, the NRC held a workshop to identify important factors affecting NASA’s future workforce and its capacity to implement the exploration vision. This interim report presents a summary of the highlights of that workshop and an initial set of findings. The report provides a review of the workforce implications of NASA’s plans, an assessment of science and technology workforce demographics, an analysis of factors affecting the aerospace workforce for both NASA and the relevant aerospace industry, and preliminary findings and recommendations. A final report is scheduled for completion in early 2007.

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