Integrating spaceflight human system risk research

Jennifer Mindock, Sarah Lumpkins, Wilma Anton, Maria Havenhill, Mark Shelhamer, Michael Canga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


NASA is working to increase the likelihood of exploration mission success and to maintain crew health, both during exploration missions and long term after return to Earth. To manage the risks in achieving these goals, a system modelled after a Continuous Risk Management framework is in place. “Human System Risks” (Risks) have been identified, and 32 are currently being actively addressed by NASA's Human Research Program (HRP). Research plans for each of HRP's Risks have been developed and are being executed. Inter-disciplinary ties between the research efforts supporting each Risk have been identified; however, efforts to identify and benefit from these connections have been mostly ad hoc. There is growing recognition that solutions developed to address the full set of Risks covering medical, physiological, behavioural, vehicle, and organizational aspects of exploration missions must be integrated across Risks and disciplines. This paper discusses how a framework of factors influencing human health and performance in space is being applied as the backbone for bringing together sometimes disparate information relevant to the individual Risks. The resulting interrelated information enables identification and visualization of connections between Risks and research efforts in a systematic and standardized manner. This paper also discusses the applications of the visualizations and insights into research planning, solicitation, and decision-making processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-312
Number of pages7
JournalActa Astronautica
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Crew health
  • Integration
  • Research management
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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