Space Radiation Hazards and the Vision for Space Exploration
Report of a Workshop
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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 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.
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OTHER REPORTS OF THE SPACE STUDIES BOARD
An Assessment of Balance in NASA’s Science Programs (2006)
Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Venus Missions: Letter Report (2006)
Distributed Arrays of Small Instruments for Solar-Terrestrial Research: Report of a Workshop (2006)
Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce (SSB with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board [ASEB], 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 (2005)
Extending the Effective Lifetimes of Earth Observing Research Missions (2005)
Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars (2005)
Principal-Investigator-Led Missions in the Space Sciences (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 (2005)
Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration (2005)
Solar and Space Physics and Its Role in Space Exploration (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 (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 (2004)
Review of Science Requirements for the Terrestrial Planet Finder: Letter Report (2004)
Understanding the Sun and Solar System Plasmas: Future Directions in Solar and Space Physics (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)
Assessment of NASA’s Draft 2003 Earth Science Enterprise Strategy: Letter Report (2003)
Assessment of NASA’s Draft 2003 Space Science Enterprise Strategy: Letter Report (2003)
Satellite Observations of the Earth’s Environment: Accelerating the Transition of Research to Operations (SSB with ASEB and BASC, 2003)
Steps to Facilitate Principal-Investigator-Led Earth Science Missions (2003)
The Sun to the Earthand Beyond: Panel Reports (2003)
Assessment of Directions in Microgravity and Physical Sciences Research at NASA (2002)
New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy (2002)
The Sun to Earthand Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics (2002)
Limited copies of these 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
NOTE: Listed according to year of approval for release.
AD HOC COMMITTEE ON THE SOLAR SYSTEM RADIATION ENVIRONMENT AND NASA’S VISION FOR SPACE EXPLORATION: A WORKSHOP
DANIEL N. BAKER,
University of Colorado,
LESLIE A. BRABY,
Texas A&M University
University of Washington (retired)
JACK R. JOKIPII,
University of Arizona
WILLIAM S. LEWIS,
Southwest Research Institute
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
HOWARD J. SINGER,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
LAWRENCE W. TOWNSEND,
University of Tennessee
RONALD E. TURNER,
THOMAS H. ZURBUCHEN,
University of Michigan
DWAYNE A. DAY, Study Director
ARTHUR CHARO, Senior Program Officer
CATHERINE A. GRUBER, Assistant Editor
CELESTE NAYLOR, Senior Program Assistant
SPACE STUDIES BOARD
LENNARD A. FISK,
University of Michigan,
A. THOMAS YOUNG,
Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired),
SPIRO K. ANTIOCHOS,
Naval Research Laboratory
DANIEL N. BAKER,
University of Colorado
STEVEN J. BATTEL,
CHARLES L. BENNETT,
Johns Hopkins University
JUDITH A. CURRY,
Georgia Institute of Technology
JACK D. FARMER,
Arizona State University
JACK D. FELLOWS,
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
JACQUELINE N. HEWITT,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
TAMARA E. JERNIGAN,
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
University of Hawaii
DEBRA S. KNOPMAN,
BERRIEN MOORE, III,
University of New Hampshire
KENNETH H. NEALSON,
University of Southern California
NORMAN P. NEUREITER,
American Association for the Advancement of Science (retired)
University of Alabama, Birmingham
Pennsylvania State University
RONALD F. PROBSTEIN,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
HARVEY D. TANANBAUM,
Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
RICHARD H. TRULY,
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (retired)
JOSEPH F. VEVERKA,
WARREN M. WASHINGTON,
National Center for Atmospheric Research
GARY P. ZANK,
University of California, Riverside
MARCIA S. SMITH, Director
In October 2005 a group of approximately 120 experts on solar and space physics and the effects of radiation on humans and spacecraft met for a workshop at the Wintergreen conference facilities near Charlottesville, Virginia. This workshop followed other efforts by solar and space physics scientists to address ways in which their work could be focused on support for NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration (see Box P.1). These earlier meetings included a RHESSI-SOHO-TRACE Workshop in December 20041 that had recommended a meeting near Washington, D.C., in the fall of 2005 to bring together NASA Exploration operations and engineering personnel and scientists. It also followed a workshop organized by NASA’s Living With a Star (LWS) program, held on April 5-6, 2004, in Washington, D.C., to examine existing and planned LWS science missions that contribute to the enabling of proposed human lunar and Mars missions. At nearly the same time, the Committee on Solar and Space Physics (CSSP) of the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Space Studies Board independently began planning for a study on space environmental hazards. The CSSP agreed to cosponsor the workshop and to prepare this NRC workshop report. A list of workshop participants and the agenda are provided in Appendix C.
The workshop participants made a significant contribution in helping to assess the current level of understanding of solar and space physics, in looking at some of the issues faced by the NASA space radiation program as it deals with radiation effects on humans, in focusing on the challenges of ensuring the reliable functioning of instruments and machines in space, and in illustrating how progress in understanding, defining, and, ultimately, making timely predictions of the space radiation environment is essential for implementation of the Vision for Space Exploration.
NASA’S VISION FOR SPACE EXPLORATION
SOURCE: NASA, The Vision for Space Exploration, NP-2004-01-334-HQ, NASA, Washington, D.C., 2004.
Many of the participants at the conference had attended the April 2004 Living With a Star workshop and stated that there was a distinct change in attitude between that activity and the Wintergreen Workshop. At the Wintergreen Workshop many of the scientists recognized that there is significant overlap in interests between the solar and space physics community and the human spaceflight community and that the space physics community can assist in attaining the goals of the Vision for Space Exploration. Those communities had not cooperated closely before, but the Wintergreen Workshop demonstrated that such cooperation would be necessary in order to implement the Vision for Space Exploration.
This report addresses the importance of the following:
The development of predictive and forecast tools by the solar and space physics community,
Improved knowledge transfer of present scientific capabilities to the operational environment, and
Continued close cooperation between space scientists and the radiation and health science communities.
This report provides a synopsis of the state of the art of the space weather elements related to human and robotic exploration missions. However, understanding solar and space physics continues to be a challenging problem in its own right, with high intellectual content that requires advances in physics,
geophysics, and computation. NASA can ill afford to neglect to invest in this essential component of the agency’s intellectual capital and, hence, its future.
The ad hoc committee thanks the many organizers and community members who helped to make this effort a success. It is the hope of the committee that the communities that came together for the Wintergreen Workshop will continue to work closely and cooperatively as the Vision for Space Exploration continues to evolve.
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:
Timothy Bastian, National Radio Astronomy Observatory,
Anthony Chan, Rice University,
Philip Hahnfeldt, Tufts University School of Medicine,
Joseph Kunches, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and
George Paulikas, The Aerospace Corporation (retired).
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 Eugene Parker, University of Chicago (emeritus professor). 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.