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book coverPreparing for the High FrontierThe Role and Training of NASA Astronauts in the Post-Space Shuttle Era   (ASEB)
Released 2011-11-09

As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) retires the Space Shuttle and shifts involvement in International Space Station (ISS) operations, changes in the role and requirements of NASA's Astronaut Corps will take place. At the request of NASA, the National Research Council (NRC) addressed three main questions about these changes: What should be the role and size of Johnson Space Center's (JSC) Flight Crew Operations Directorate (FCOD); what will be the requirements of astronaut training facilities; and is the Astronaut Corps' fleet of training aircraft a cost-effective means of preparing astronauts for NASA's spaceflight program? This report presents an assessment of several issues driven by these questions. This report does not address explicitly the future of human spaceflight.

Report in Brief
book coverLimiting Future Collision Risk to SpacecraftAn Assessment of NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs   (ASEB)
Released 2011-11-16

Derelict satellites, equipment and other debris orbiting Earth (aka space junk) have been accumulating over many decades and could damage or even possibly destroy satellites and human spacecraft if they collide.This report examines NASA's efforts to understand the meteoroid and orbital debris environment, what NASA is and is not doing to mitigate the risks posed by this threat and how they can improve their programs.

Report in Brief
book coverAn Interim Report on NASA's Draft Space Technology Roadmaps   (ASEB)
Released 2011-10-18

For the NASA to achieve many of its space science and exploration goals over the next several decades, dramatic advances in space technology will be necessary. NASA has developed a set of 14 draft roadmaps to guide the development of such technologies under the leadership of the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OcT). In this interim report, the NRC provides several initial observations that will be expanded on in the final report to be released in 2012.

Report in Brief
book coverSummary of the Workshop to Identify Gaps and Possible Directions for NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs   (ASEB)
Released 2011-08-25

A Summary of the Workshop to Identify the Gaps and Possible Directions for NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs summarizes the two-day workshop held on March 9-10, 2011, where various stakeholders presented diverse perspectives on matters concerning NASA Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) programs, NASA mission operators, the role and relationships of NASA MMOD programs to other federal agencies, MMOD and the commercial industry, and orbital debris retrieval and removal. The report assesses NASA's existing efforts, policies, and organizations with regard to orbital debris and micrometeoroids by creating advisory dialogue on potential opportunities for program enhancement and maintenance practices.