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Managing Science in Human Exploration Lessons Learned From Apollo, Skylab, ASTP and Shuttle/Spacelab with Potential Application to the VSE A Presentation & Discussion Based Upon The NRC Space Studies Board Committee on Human Exploration 1989 - 1996 Dr. Noel W. Hinners August 2, 2006.

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Managing Science in Human ExplorationLessons Learned From Apollo, Skylab, ASTP and Shuttle/Spacelab with Potential Application to the VSEA Presentation & Discussion Based UponThe NRC Space Studies BoardCommittee on Human Exploration1989 - 1996Dr. Noel W. HinnersAugust 2, 2006

why the study
Why the Study?
  • In 1989, the Apollo 20th Anniversary, Pres. George W. Bush Announced the Space Exploration Initiative
    • An Ambitious Proposal to Extend Human Exploration to the Moon and Mars
    • The “Science Community”, as Represented by the NRC Space Studies Board, Believed That This, Similar to Apollo, Presented An Opportunity to Implement High Priority Science
      • The NRC Space Studies Board Recognized the SEI Potential, as Well as Historical Impediments and Antagonisms, for Productive Incorporation of Science in Human Space Flight Programs
nrc ssb committee on human exploration chex
NRC SSB Committee on Human Exploration (CHEX)
  • In 1988 the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering stated in the report Toward a New Era in Space: Realigning Policies to New Realities that ". . . the ultimate decision to undertake further voyages of human exploration and to begin the process of expanding human activities into the solar system must be based on non-technical factors. It is clear, however, that if and when a program of human exploration is initiated, the U.S. research community must play a central role by providing the scientific advice necessary to help make numerous political and technical decisions."
  • The Board established the Committee on Human Exploration (CHEX) in 1989 to examine science and science policy matters concerned with the return of astronauts to the Moon and eventual voyages to Mars. The Board asked CHEX to consider three major questions:
    • What scientific knowledge is prerequisite for prolonged human space missions?

(CHEX 1)

2. What scientific opportunities might derive from prolonged human space missions?

(CHEX 2)

3. What basic principles should guide the management of both the prerequisite scientific research and the scientific activities that may be carried out in conjunction with human exploration?

(CHEX 3)


Specific Motivation for the CHEX 3 Study

From the Forward of the CHEX 3 Report:

“The successes of joint crewed and scientific missions, from Apollo to the Hubble repair to Shuttle/MIR, show the possible benefits of cohabitation. Of course, there have also been periods of friction and consequently unrealized potential. This report of the Space Studies Board's Committee on Human Exploration examines U.S. spaceflight history and draws lessons about "best practices" for managing scientific research in conjunction with a human spaceflight program. Since NASA' s current focus is the development and subsequent operation of a crewed orbital laboratory, the International Space Station, some of these lessons should be immediately useful. The report is intended to be especially germane for a national decision to resume human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.”

Claude R. Canizares, Chair Space Studies Board


the chex 3 goal
The CHEX 3 Goal

In developing principles to guide management of the science covered in the first two reports, the committee observed thattheproductivity of the scientific component of human space exploration appears to be correlated with the organizational approach and structure used to manage the program. It is reasonable, then, to look back and try to formulate principles and recommendations that can strengthen the prospects for future success. It was not the committee's charge or intent to tell NASA precisely how to organize itself; indeed, there are several possible organizational arrangements that would be consistent with the conclusions of this study. Moreover, no organizational arrangement can guarantee success in the absence of clearly articulated and commonly agreed on goals. Throughout its study,

the committee has made a deliberate effort to find ways to abolish the historic dichotomy between space science and human exploration and to seek ways to encourage a synergistic partnership.

chex 3 members
CHEX 3 Members
  • NOEL W. HINNERS, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Chair
  • WILLIAM J. MERRELL, JR., H. John Heinz III Center
  • ROBERT H. MOSER, University of New Mexico
  • JOHN E. NAUGLE, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (retired)
  • MARCIA S. SMITH, Congressional Research Service

Data Gathering Process

  • Written Histories (Newell, Naugle, Compton)
  • Solicited Views of Past and Present Space Science and Human Exploration Personnel
  • Views and Judgments of CHEX and SSB Members
historical funding and management of science in human exploration 1
Historical Funding and Management of Science in Human Exploration -1
  • Apollo -
    • Ranger, Surveyor Science Missions (initiated in 1959)
      • Eventually Redirected to Support Apollo Site Certification
        • Responded to OMSF “Requirements for Data in Support of Project Apollo” (As did LO)
      • Funded and Managed by Office of Space Science, JPL Project Management
      • Follow-on Science Missions Cancelled
    • Lunar Orbiter
      • Requirements Set by 1962 Joint OSS/OSMF Working Group (for Site Selection and Certification)
      • Funded and Managed by Office of Space Science (Including Overruns), Langley Research Center Project Management
      • LO 1-3 Completed Acquisition of Data to Support Initial Apollo Missions
      • LO 4 and 5 Dedicated to Science Surveys (Including Advanced Site Selection
historical funding and management of science in human exploration 2
Historical Funding and Management of Science in Human Exploration - 2
  • Apollo 11- 17 Science: ALSEPs, Corner Reflectors, Science Site Selection (Post Apollo 11 missions), Lunar Surface Traverse/Sample Activity, CSM Orbital Science, Lunar Rover
    • NASA Hq Apollo Program Office Funded and Managed Science through Apollo Lunar Exploration Office – Project Management Largely at JSC and MSFC
    • Science based a lot upon SSB Iowa Summer Study (1962) and NASA Falmouth Woods Hole Study (1965).
  • Apollo Data Analysis Program (initiated in 1973)
    • Initiated, Managed and Funded by Office of Space Science Post-Apollo
  • Skylab - Apollo Telescope Mount (1973 – 1974)
    • “Replaced” Cancelled Advanced Orbiting Solar Observatory ($$$)
    • Experiments Transferred to Skylab
    • Located in Skylab Program, Jointly Reported to OMSF/OSS as in Apollo
    • Funded and Managed by OSMF
  • Apollo-Soyuz Test Program (1975)
    • OSS Selected Experiments
    • OMSF Funded and Managed
    • “False Start” (Euphemism) to Expedite Experiment Selection
    • Recovery with Two Month Competitive Selection

After a Lot of Turmoil and Evolution, A Good

Science Management Model Emerged


Science Management

in the

Apollo Program

historical funding and management of science in human exploration 3

“In spite of very high costs, greater than expected complexity,

…, Shuttle/Spacelab has been successful in that some high

quality science has been achieved.” CHEX 3, p. 18

Historical Funding and Management of Science in Human Exploration - 3
  • Space Transportation System (Shuttle)/Spacelab – 1972+
    • Spacelab (ESRO Supplied) Replaced Proposed Space Station
    • Not Uniformly Supported by Science Community
    • A Major Change in Management Model
      • Science Requirements Were Only a Portion of a Larger Set - Technology, DOD, Satellite Launch (Including Upper Stage) and Repair (Hubble Baseline)
      • OSS Selected, Managed and Funded Space and Life Science Experiments and Operations (MSFC POC)
        • OSS Organizational Element
      • OSS Selected Payload Specialists
      • OMSF Provided Transportation, Crew Support (Mission Specialists), Data Streams, etc.
findings of chex 3
Findings of CHEX 3
  • 3 Broad Management Principles
  • 10 Management Recommendations
    • 3 Relating to Science Prerequisites for Human Exploration or “Enabling Science”
    • 3 Relating to Science Enabled by Human Exploration
    • 4 Relating to Institutional Issues

Following the Management Principles and Implementing

The Management Recommendations Should Lead to a

More Synergistic, More Productive and Less Antagonistic

Integrated Human – Robotic Exploration Program

chex broad principle 1
CHEX Broad Principle #1
  • INTEGRATED SCIENCE PROGRAM—The scientific study of specific planetary bodies, such as the Moon and Mars, should be treated as an integral part of an overall solar system science program and not separated out simply because there may be concurrent interest in human exploration of those bodies. Thus, there should be a single Headquarters office responsible for conducting the scientific aspects of solar system exploration.
chex broad principle 2
CHEX Broad Principle #2
  • CLEAR PROGRAM GOALS AND PRIORITIES—A program of human spaceflight will have political, engineering, and technological goals in addition to its scientific goals. To avoid confusion and misunderstandings, the objectives of each individual component project or mission that integrates space science and human spaceflight should be clearly specified and prioritized.
chex broad principle 3
CHEX Broad Principle #3
  • JOINT SPACEFLIGHT/SCIENCE PROGRAM OFFICE—The offices responsible for human spaceflight and space science should jointly establish and staff a program office to collaboratively implement the scientific component of human exploration. As a model, that office should have responsibilities, functions, and reporting relationships similar to those that supported science in the Apollo, Skylab, and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) missions.
chex management recommendations science enabled by human exploration
CHEX Management RecommendationsScience “Enabled” by Human Exploration

4. Each space research discipline should maintain a science strategy to be used as the basis for planning, prioritizing, selecting, and managing science, including that enabled by a human exploration program.

chex management recommendations science enabled by human exploration1
CHEX Management RecommendationsScience “Enabled” by Human Exploration

5. NASA's Headquarters science offices should select the scientific experiments enabled by a human exploration program according to established practices: community-wide opportunity announcements, open and equitable competition, and peer review.

chex management recommendations science enabled by human exploration2
CHEX Management RecommendationsScience “Enabled” by Human Exploration

6. The offices responsible for human exploration and for space science should jointly create a formal organizational structure for managing the enabled science component of a human exploration program. [relates directly to Management Principle #3]

chex management recommendations institutional issues
CHEX Management RecommendationsInstitutional Issues

9. A human exploration program organization must incorporate scientific personnel to assist in program planning and operations, and to serve as an interface between internal project management and the external scientific community. Such "in-house" scientists should be of a professional caliber that will enable them to compete on an equal basis with their academic colleagues for research opportunities offered by human exploration missions.

chex management recommendations institutional issues1
CHEX Management RecommendationsInstitutional Issues

10. Working through their partnership in a joint spaceflight/science program office, the science offices should control the overall science management process, including the budgeting and disbursement of research funds.

CHEX Found No Strong Correlation Between Funding

Source and Quality of Science Accomplished.

However: “… control of the science budgets by the science

offices may, in fact, be essential to maintain the quality

of the research program and productive balance with

flight system development in the future.” CHEX 3, p32


CHEX Management RecommendationsScience Prerequisites for Human Exploration “Enabling Science”

1. The program office charged with human exploration should establish the scientific and programmatic requirements needed to resolve the critical research and optimal performance issues enabling a human exploration program, such as a human mission to Mars. To define these requirements, the program office may enlist the assistance of other NASA offices, federal agencies, and the outside research community.

chex management recommendations science prerequisites for human exploration enabling science
CHEX Management Recommendations Science Prerequisites for Human Exploration -\ “Enabling Science”

2. The scientific investigations required to resolve critical enabling research and optimal performance issues for a human exploration program should be selected by NASA's Headquarters science offices, or other designated agencies, using selection procedures based on broad solicitation, open and equitable competition, peer review, and adequate post-selection debriefings.

chex management recommendations science prerequisites for human exploration enabling science1
CHEX Management Recommendations Science Prerequisites for Human Exploration “Enabling Science”

3. NASA should maintain a dedicated biomedical sciences office headed by a life scientist. This office should be given management visibility and decision-making authority commensurate with its critical role in the program. The option of having this office report directly to the NASA Administrator should be given careful consideration.

chex management recommendations institutional issues2
CHEX Management RecommendationsInstitutional Issues

7. Officials responsible for review of activities or protocols relating to human health and safety and planetary protection on human and robotic missions should be independent of the implementing program offices.

chex management recommendations institutional issues3
CHEX Management RecommendationsInstitutional Issues

8. The external research community should have a leading role in defining and carrying out the scientific experiments conducted within a human exploration program.