Human Support Issues and Systems for the Space Exploration Initiative

Results from Project Outreach

by Jerry Aroesty, R. Zimmerman, J. Logan


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 6.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback137 pages $35.00 $28.00 20% Web Discount

This Note describes the findings of the Human Support panel, one of eight project panels evaluating submissions to the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) Outreach Program, or Project Outreach. Fundamental questions of crew adaptability, tolerance, performance, and survival must be confronted squarely and systematically to assure SEI feasibility, continued support, and eventual success. Human support issues should be incorporated by life scientists early in formulating preliminary requirements and guidelines, planning missions, and designing spacecraft. The authors performed issue-oriented analyses to evaluate Project Outreach submissions in a context of some critical problems: (1) radiation protection for Mars missions requires further research in active shielding techniques; (2) space-based microgravity research is needed to improve the quantitative assessment of long-term effects and possible countermeasures; (3) life-support systems for long-term missions and planetary settlement will require bioregenerative technologies incorporating both ecological and biotechnological approaches; (4) medical care and health maintenance may best be handled by a team approach; (5) human factors need emphasis, since human behavior under prolonged stress, isolation, and confinement could compromise mission success; and (6) EVA (extra-vehicular activity) suits are essential to productive work in space or on the Lunar or Martian surfaces.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.