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Scientific Uses of the Space Shuttle Space Science Board National Research Council NAS-NAE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES MAY 1 4 1974 Washington, D.C. 1974 LIBRARY
NOTICE: The project which is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, acting in behalf of the National Academy of Sciences. Such approval reflects the Board's judgment that the project is of national importance and appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. The members of the committee selected to undertake this project and prepare this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. Responsibility for the detailed aspects of this report rests with that committee. Each report issuing from a study committee of the National Research Council is reviewed by an independent group of qualified individuals according to procedures established and monitored by the Report Review Committee of the National Academy of Sciences. Distribution of the report is approved, by the President of the Academy, upon satisfactory completion of the review process. Available from Space Science Board 2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, D.C. 20418 Order from National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Va. 22151 Order No.- ..
Space Science Board Richard M. Goody, Chairman James R. Arnold E. Margaret Burbidge George R. Carruthers Robert E. Danielson Herbert Friedman Robert A. Helliwell Norman H. Horowitz Francis S. Johnson Edward H. Kass Robert B. Leighton Joshua Menkes Philip Morrison Brian O'Brien Robert A. Phinney P. Euford Price Frederick Seitz John T. Shepherd Roman Smoluchowski Willis M. Hawkins, ex officio David H. Garber, Executive Secretary
Participants John W. Findlay, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Chairman AT LARGE Richard M. Goody, Harvard University Willis Hawkins, Lockheed Aircraft Joshua Menkes, University of Colorado George E. Solomon, TRW Systems Charles H. Townes, University of California, Berkeley H. C. van de Hulst, Leiden University, The Netherlands ATMOSPHERIC AND SPACE PHYSICS Thomas Donahue, University of Pittsburgh, Group Leader B. Bertotti, University of Pavia, Italy J. E. Blamont, Service d'Aeronomie, France Sidney Bowhill, University of Illinois Neil M. Brice, Cornell University Donald Gurnett, University of Iowa Robert Hudson, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Francis S. Johnson, University of Texas at Dallas Andrew Nagy, University of Michigan Juan G. Roederer, University of Denver Frederick L. Scarf, TRW Systems Group HIGH-ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS Laurence E. Peterson, University of California, San Diego, Group Leader Hale Bradt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Carl Fichtel, Goddard Space Flight Center Herbert Friedman, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Riccardo Giacconi, Center for Astrophysics Kenneth Greisen, Cornell University Frank B. McDonald, Goddard Space Right Center
vi Participants Minoru Oda, University of Tokyo K. Pinkau, Max-Planck-Institut fur Extraterrestrische Physik, Germany Rochus E. Vogt, California Institute of Technology INFRARED ASTRONOMY William F. Hoffmann, University of Arizona, Group Leader Rudolf Hanel, Goddard Space Flight Center Richard E. Jennings, University College, London Gerry Neugebauer, California Institute of Technology Stephen D. Price, Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory David Rank, Lick Observatory Fred Witteborn, Ames Research Center OPTICAL AND ULTRAVIOLET ASTRONOMY R. E. Danielson, Princeton University, Group Leader William A. Baum, Lowell Observatory Robert C. Bless, University of Wisconsin G. Courtes, Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale, France A. Gaide, Observatoire de Geneve, Switzerland C. R. O'Dell, Marshall Space Flight Center Harlan J. Smith, University of Texas, Austin SOLAR PHYSICS John T. Jefferies, University of Hawaii, Group Leader Loren W. Acton, Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory R. Bonnet, Laboratoire de Physique Stellaire, France Carole Jordan, SRC Astrophysics Research Division, Culham Laboratory, England Gordon Newkirk, Jr., High Altitude Observatory Robert Noyes, Center for Astrophysics Arthur B. C. Walker, Jr., Aerospace Corporation Harold Zirin, California Institute of Technology LIFE SCIENCES Robert F. Forster, University of Pennsylvania, Group Leader Elso S. Barghoorn, Harvard University Norman I. Bishop, Oregon State University Neal S. Bricker, Albert Einstein College of Medicine William H. Crosby, Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation Harold S. Ginsberg, Columbia University Douglas Grahn, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Edward H. Kass, Boston City Hospital
Participants vu Patricia J. Lindop, The Medical College of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London Irving F. Miller, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle Mary J. Osborn, University of Connecticut John T. Shepherd, The Mayo Foundation Patrick Winston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology PLANETARY EXPLORATION Michael B. McElroy, Harvard University, Group Leader Roman Smoluchowski, Princeton University ESRO Attendees J. de Waard J. Ortner Other NASA Attendees Jospeh P. Allen Anthony J. Calio J. Allen Crocker Philip E. Culbertson Rufus R. Hessberg Otha C. Jean Douglas R. Lord Leslie H. Meredith John E. Naugle Homer E. Newell Goetz K. Oertel Albert G. Opp Nancy G. Roman Alois W. Schardt Erwin R. Schmerling Gerald W. Sharp Henry J. Smith NAS-NAE Staff Space Science Board David H. Garber Ann Grahn Bruce N. Gregory Dean P. Kastel Aeronautics & Space Engineering Board John P. Taylor LaRae L. Teel Space Applications Board Clotaire Wood
Foreword This is the report of a study convened by the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences to explore the scientific uses of the Space Shuttle. The effort was focused on those aspects of the Shuttle most different from conventional launch-vehicle capabilities. In particular, the study considered the sortie mode, in which the Shuttle carries into orbit a payload that remains attached to the Shuttle and then returns to earth with the payload after one to four weeks. The study also considered the use of the Shuttle for launching, servicing, and recovering satellites and for launching lunar, planetary, and interplanetary missions. Interest in the sortie mode is particularly great because of the recent decision by several European countries to develop a space laboratory (Spacelab) consisting of a pressurized module and an unpressurized platform called a pallet. Some combination of pres- surized and pallet segments would be carried in the Shuttle bay on many sortie missions. The National Aeronautics and Space Adminis- tration (NASA) and the European Space Research Organization (ESRO) looked to the summer study to provide an understanding of the scientific requirements that might affect the design of the Shuttle and Spacelab. Underlying the study was the premise that the Shuttle and Spacelab have been approved for development by national policy; therefore, in an approach recommended by NASA and adopted by the Academy, the study dealt with the use of the Shuttle and Spacelab for science and assumed that they will be developed. In a previous Space Science Board study* the Shuttle was considered in relation to its utilization for science; that study did not "... evaluate *Priorities for Space Research 1971-1980, Report of a Study by the Space Science Board (National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 1971). IX
x Foreword the economics of the shuttle, because it depends so strongly on the volume of space traffic, which in turn is dependent upon many user activities besides . . . [science]." Fifty U.S. and eleven European scientists participated in the study, which was held at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, during the first two weeks of July 1973. The following discipline areas were involved: atmospheric and space physics, high-energy astrophysics, optical and ultraviolet astronomy, infrared and radio astronomy, solar physics, life sciences, and lunar and planetary exploration. Selection of these specific sectors of science was made to keep the scope of the effort manageable, and omission of another sector should not be construed as a judgment of its importance for the space program. Areas were most often omitted because they did not appear to impose significant specialized demands on Shuttle capabili- ties in the period before 1985. The study placed no constraints based on anticipated resources available on the programs under consideration. This was done so that imaginative proposals would not be eliminated on the basis of the limited cost information available at the time of the study. As a consequence, several of the conclusions, particularly the first two (see Chapter 1, Summary of Findings), depend heavily on a substantial scale of operations and level of funding for the space program. Several reviewers have asserted that the scientific program outlined in this report is closer to the mainstream of fundamental advances in the physical sciences than in the life sciences. The Board recognizes that some scientific disciplines are substantially more dependent than others on space research; the life sciences are perhaps among the least dependent on space for the development of new concept. Exo- biology (not taken up in this report) is a major exception to this view as it almost by definition presumes space exploration. Similarly, the vital areas of physiological and behavioral functioning in space, although dependent largely on terrestrial data, need extensive study in space to assure optimal safety and function of Shuttle and future crews. Knowledge derived therefrom can contribute in turn to terrestrial life sciences and life-sciences technology. The possibility that fundamental insights in biology and medicine can be gained in space should not be foreclosed. The optimal use for science of an innovative space transportation concept is an exceedingly complex issue that can best be approached by stages. As Shuttle costs and capabilities become better defined,
Foreword xi problems of scientific priorities will arise both within and among disciplinary areas. It is important to emphasize that the study does not explicitly address priority issues. Opinions about priorities are implicit in some of the statements by disciplinary groups, but these issues are subject to substantial study and possible revision in a future review of priorities, and in any case the implicit opinions do not necessarily represent the view of the Space Science Board at this time. The Space Science Board is grateful to John W. Findlay for his contributions as Chairman of the study and to the participants for their efforts. The participants had the benefit of the presence of members of the NASA and ESRO staffs, who provided detailed information on Shuttle and Spacelab planning; their assistance is warmly appreciated. Thanks are due to the study director, Bruce N. Gregory, for his work with the study and its report. The Board acknowledges with appreciation the support of the National Aero- nautics and Space Administration, particularly for Contract No. NASW 2509, which made this study possible. Richard M. Goody, Chairman Space Science Board
Preface Considerable supporting work had been accomplished within the United States and Europe before the Space Science Board's study on scientific uses of the Space Shuttle began. The 1973 Woods Hole meeting was timed to make best use of this earlier work and to provide a useful input to the European Spacelab design studies. By the start of the study, engineering definition of the Shuttle and Spacelab had proceeded to the stage where the most important performance characteristics were known. The participants had briefing documents and the continuous availability of members of the NASA and ESRO staffs to elaborate and explain planned per- formance and operational details. Study of the scientific usefulness of the Shuttle had been in progress since a NASA workshop was convened in August 1972 at Goddard Space Flight Center to study the sortie mode. The report of this workshop was published in August 1972.* Studies were continued and expanded involving European scientists and U.S. scientists from outside NASA. The results of this work were published in May 1973 as ten discipline-group reports and a summary volume.' Volumes 1 through 5 formed a starting point for the work of the 1973 Woods Hole study. Similar efforts had been conducted in Europe, under the leader- ship of ESRO. A symposium to report progress was held in Frascati, Italy, in January 1973, and the final study report was published in May 1973.* *Proceedings of the Space Shuttle Sortie Workshop. Volume I, Policy & System Characteristics; Volume II, Working Group Reports (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., 1972). â¢Final Reports of the Space Shuttle Payload Planning Working Groups, Volumes 1-5 (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., 1973). Spacelab Programme: Views of the ESRO Spacelab Payload Groups- Utilisation of the Spacelab for Science (ESRO, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, 1973). Xlll
xiv Preface These NASA and ESRO reports were the basic background material for the Academy study, and some of the scientists who had contributed to the earlier efforts were at Woods Hole. However, the NASA and ESRO reports were not intended to be definitive, and participants at the study were not bound by their conclusions. At Woods Hole, the discipline groups were asked to describe the scientific objectives of their respective disciplines; to identify experiments or instruments that are both scientifically desirable and suitable for Shuttle operations; to determine which mode of Shuttle use would be best suited to the operation of these instruments; to outline a mission model; and to make recommendations concerning their science and the Shuttle. All groups found the first two requests easy to meet. In choosing the best-suited Shuttle mode, almost all were limited by the lack of detailed information on costs and, hence, on the cost-effectiveness of various modes. Similarly, in formulating mission models for the 1980's, the question of cost remains to be defined. On the first day of the study, participants were briefed by NASA and ESRO on relevant information about the Shuttle and Spacelab concepts. The rest of the first week was given to meetings of the discipline groups; a steering committee, including the discipline group leaders, met on most mornings to monitor progress. The first week concluded with a half-day reporting session to the whole study. A working group, composed of members from all disciplines and from the steering committee, was formed at the start of the second week to focus on the scientific requirements for the sortie mode and free-flying spacecraft. This group (whose work is reported in Chapter 2) worked closely with the discipline groups, which continued to work until the study ended. After a final plenary session, the study made an oral report to NASA and ESRO on July 14. Summer studies are always hectic events, and some of the greatest demands are placed on the secretarial staff; the participants are grateful for the unfailing efforts of Lally Anne Anderson, Jo Ann Severance, and Barbara White. Kathleen Davison and Mildred McGuire typed the manuscript. I am grateful to all those who participated in the study for their hard work and cooperative efforts. John W. Findlay, Chairman Scientific Uses of the Space Shuttle
Contents 1. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS 1 I. SUMMARY 1 II. THE ROLE OF MAN 3 III. SIZE OF THE PROGRAM 3 IV. LOWERING THE COST OF SCIENCE IN SPACE 4 2. MODES OF SHUTTLE USE 5 I. ASSUMPTIONS AND OBJECTIVES 5 II. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS 8 III. PALLET MODE OF OPERATION 9 IV. SHUTTLE-LAUNCHED FREE-FLYERS 10 V. ROLE OF MAN 11 A. General-Purpose Payload Specialist Station 11 B. Utilization of the Pressurized Module 12 C. Ground Experiment Operation 13 3. ATMOSPHERIC AND SPACE PHYSICS 14 I. INTRODUCTION 14 II. ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE 14 A. Our Understanding of the Upper Atmosphere by 1980 14 B. Need for the Shuttle 15 C. Thermal Structure and Dynamics 17 D. Neutral-Atmosphere Chemistry below 120 km 18 E. Ion Chemistry of the D-Region and Lower E-Region 20 HI. MAGNETOSPHERIC DYNAMICS 21 A. Background 21 B. Major Magnetospheric Physics Problems of the 1980's 25 IV. PLASMA PHYSICS IN SPACE 27 A. Background 27 B. Outstanding Problems 28 V. INSTRUMENTS AND TECHNIQUES 30 A. Atmospheric Science 30 B. Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics 32 VI. MISSION MODEL FOR ATMOSPHERIC AND SPACE PHYSICS 35 VII. RECOMMENDATIONS 37 XV
xvi Contents 4. HIGH-ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS 40 I. INTRODUCTION 40 II. SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVES 41 A. X-Ray Astronomy 41 B. Gamma-Ray Astronomy 45 C. Cosmic-Ray Astronomy 48 III. INSTRUMENTS 51 A. Achievement of Objectives 51 B. X-Ray Instruments for the Shuttle Era 53 C. Gamma-Ray Experimental Program 63 D. Cosmic Rays 70 E. Shuttle Sortie Mode Requirements 74 IV. PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION 76 A. Single-Investigator Experiments 76 B. National Facilities 78 V. MISSION MODEL 79 A. Automated Program 79 B. Sortie Mode 80 VI. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS 81 5. INFRARED ASTRONOMY 83 I. INTRODUCTION 83 II. SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVES 84 A. Solar-System Formation 84 B. Stellar Evolution 84 C. Galactic Structure and Evolution 84 D. Cosmology 85 III. SHUTTLE TELESCOPES: EVOLUTIONARY APPROACH 85 A. Cryogenically Cooled Telescopes 86 B. Ambient-Temperature Telescopes 89 IV. SPECIALIZED INSTRUMENTS 92 A. Cosmic Background Radiation 92 B. Discrete-Source Sky Survey, Infrared Monitor 92 C. Spatial Interferometer 93 V. REQUIREMENTS ON THE SHUTTLE CAPABILITY 93 A. Sortie Mode 93 B. Launch Mode 96 C. Assembly Mode 96 D. Contamination 96 VI. POTENTIAL MISSION MODEL 98 VII. SUPPORTING RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY 98 VIII. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS 100 6. OPTICAL AND ULTRAVIOLET ASTRONOMY 102 I. SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVES 102 A. Solar System 102 B. Stars and Stellar Systems 103 C. Interstellar Matter 104
Contents xvii D. Emission Nebulosities 105 E. Galactic Nuclei and Quasars 106 F. Intergalactic Matter 106 G. Extragalactic Research 107 H. Cosmology 108 II. CANDIDATE SHUTTLE-LAUNCHED INSTRUMENTS 108 A. The Large Space Telescope 108 B. Diffraction-Limited Telescope 111 C. Small General-Purpose Telescope 112 D. Very-Wide-Field Survey Camera 113 E. Very Large Light Collector 114 F. Other Instruments 115 III. TECHNICAL IMPACT ON SHUTTLE 120 A. The Role of Man in Space-Shuttle Astronomy 120 B. Pointing and Stabilization 121 C. Contamination 122 D. Thermal Requirements 123 E. Orbits 123 F. Payload Weight 124 G. Detectors and Telemetry Requirements 124 IV. MISSION MODEL 125 V. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS 126 A. Utilizing the Shuttle for Optical and Ultraviolet Space Astronomy 126 B. Supporting Research and Technology 129 7. SOLAR PHYSICS 130 I. SOLAR-PHYSICS OBJECTIVES AND OVERALL PLAN 130 A. Solar Activity 130 B. Energy and Mass Flow in the Solar Atmosphere 131 C. Physical Problems of Broader Significance 133 D. Relation of Solar Physics to Other Disciplines 134 II. PROFILE FOR A BALANCED PROGRAM IN SOLAR ASTRONOMY 135 A. Spaceflight Aspects 135 B. Other Necessary Components of a Balanced Program 136 HI. MISSION MODEL 137 A. The Pre-Shuttle Solar Maximum Mission 138 B. Use of the Space Shuttle for Solar Research 140 IV. REQUIREMENTS IMPOSED ON SHUTTLE AND SPACELAB BY THE SOLAR PROGRAM 146 A. Contamination of the Optical Environment 146 B. Scheduling of Solar Missions 147 C. Orbital Considerations 147 D. Tracking and Data-Relay Satellite System (TORS) 147 E. Payload Capacity 147 F. Mission Duration 148 G. Use of the Payload Specialist Station 148 H. Data and Control Interfacing 148
xviii Contents V. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 149 A. The Impact of Quality Assurance on Costs 149 B. Convening of a Shuttle Experimentation Planning Committee 149 C. Selection and Responsibilities of Scientists 149 D. The Crucial Role of SR&T Support 150 VI. RECOMMENDATIONS 150 APPENDIX A 152 1. Representative Focal Plane Instrumentation for Use with the Solar Telescope Cluster 152 2. Representative Special-Purpose Instruments for a Large Fine-Pointed Platform 153 3. Representative Instruments for a Small Fine-Pointed Platform 153 4. Representative Coarse-Pointed, High-Energy Instrumentation 153 5. Representative Instruments for a Large Fine-Pointed Platform 153 8. LIFE SCIENCES 154 I. INTRODUCTION 154 II. CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY 155 III. ORGANISMIC BIOLOGY 157 A. Plant Biology 157 B. Animal Biology 159 IV. BIOMEDICINE 160 A. Cardiovascular System 161 B. Respiration 162 C. Kidney and Metabolism 162 D. Hematology 163 E. Neurology 163 F. Microbiology 164 V. BEHAVIOR 165 VI. RADIOBIOLOGY 166 VII. LIFE-SUPPORT TECHNOLOGY 168 VIII. LABORATORY OPERATIONS 171 IX. EXPERIMENTAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE APPROACHES 174 X. RECOMMENDATIONS 175 9. PLANETARY EXPLORATION 179 I. OBJECTIVES 179 II. THE INNER PLANETS 181 III. THE MOON 182 IV. THE OUTER PLANETS 184 V. PLANETARY SPACECRAFT 187 VI. PROPULSION REQUIREMENTS 190 VII. RECOMMENDATIONS 195 APPENDIX: THE SPACE SHUTTLE SYSTEM 196