NAS Review of NASA's Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks 2017 Letter Report (2018)

Status Report From: National Academy of Sciences
Posted: Monday, January 15, 2018


Full report

The evidence reports reviewed in this National Academies' report are part of a larger roadmap process developed and under implementation by NASA's Human Research Program. The goals of the program are to investigate and mitigate "the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration" (NASA, 2017). As outlined in Figure 1, the evidence reports are the first part of the roadmap, which is followed by clarifying the risks, specifying the research gaps that exist in addressing those risks, implementing research tasks, and obtaining deliverables. These steps are then assessed to ascertain the progress that has been made in preventing or mitigating the specific risks to astronaut health. NASA updates its progress on risk reduction for a range of design reference missions—missions on the International Space Station (ISS) in low Earth orbit, lunar visits or habitation, deep space sorties, deep space journey or habitation, and planetary visits or habitation (e.g., Mars)—by identifying the extent to which there is evidence that the plans for that mission will comply with existing crew health standards or that countermeasures exist to control the risk (NASA, 2015).


National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Health Sciences Policy; Committee to Review NASA's Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks; Carol E. H. Scott-Conner, Daniel R. Masys, and Catharyn T. Liverman, Editors Description

This is the fifth, and final, in a series of letter reports that provide an independent review of the more than 30 evidence reports that NASA has compiled on human health risks for long-duration and exploration spaceflights. This letter report reviews five evidence reports and examines the quality of the evidence, analysis, and overall construction of each report; identifies existing gaps in report content; and provides suggestions for additional sources of expert input.


Health and Medicine — Workplace and Occupational Health Health and Medicine — Policy, Reviews and Evaluations

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Review of NASA's Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks: 2017 Letter Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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