A Risk Reduction Strategy for Human Exploration of Space: A Review of NASA's Bioastronautics Roadmap


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Bioastronautics Roadmap (BR) is "the framework used to identify and assess the risks of crew exposure to the hazardous environments of space." The BR was created to facilitate and support the successful accomplishment of the three Design Reference Missions:

  • a one-year mission to the International Space Station,
  • a month-long stay on the Lunar surface, and
  • a 30-month round-trip journey to Mars.

In 2003, NASA asked the National Academies to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the BR and identify the unique challenges for accomplishing its goals. An ad hoc committee examined the content of the BR, the process used in developing and updating it, and the context in which the BR was developed and will be used.

In Bioastronautics Roadmap: A Risk Reduction Strategy for Human Exploration of Space, the committee concluded that the current version of the BR is a useful first step, but it will not be adequate to achieve its stated goals unless the recommendations provided by the committee are incorporated into the document and into the thinking and actions of NASA's management.