National Academies Advisory Boards and Reports
In 1916, the National Academy of Sciences organized The National Research Council to associate the broad community of science and technology with the
Academy's purposes of seeking further knowledge and advising the federal
government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the
Academy, the National Research Council has become the principal operating
agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of
Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the
scientific and engineering communities. Both Academies and the Institute of Medicine jointly administer The National Research Council. The Office of Biological and Physical Research (OBPR) primarily uses two National Research Council boards:
The Space Studies Board (SSB) and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB).
Many of the reports on the OBPR activities are produced through joint activities between the two boards.
Established in June 1958, the
SSB provides external and independent scientific
and programmatic guidance to NASA and other government agencies in the basic
sub-disciplines of space research. The SSB oversees a constellation of
standing committees and ad hoc task groups, which produce long-range
strategic research plans, set priorities for goals, and assess progress.
The SSB, its committees, and ad hoc task groups document their work through
peer-reviewed reports and letters. In addition, based on its publicly-established opinions, the Board may comment in testimony to the Congress.
ASEB was established in 1967 "to focus talents and energies of the
engineering community on significant aerospace policies and programs."
The ASEB recommends priorities and procedures for achieving aerospace engineering objectives, and offers a way to bring engineering
and other related expertise to bear on aerospace issues of national importance.
The ASEB also serves as a catalyst for introducing scientific and engineering
ideas into existing aerospace programs, serving to stimulate innovation
that will become the basis for future aerospace programs.
The ASEB makes recommendations concerning major national aeronautics and space programs.
It assesses the quality of various technologies and programs, and advises on the relative
importance of those programs. It also is concerned with important issues of technology
transfer, including (1) the effectiveness of technology transfer to industry from NASA's
research and development programs, (2) incorporation of the best technologies from outside of
NASA in NASA programs, and (3) enhancing the two-way flow of technologies developed
in the defense sector and in civil aerospace.
The SSB and ASEB are part of the Division on Engineering and Physical
Sciences (DEPS) of the National Research Council, the principal
operating agency of the National Academies.
Recent National Academies Reports for Exploration Systems Mission Directorate:
Other Space Studies Board reports relevant to ESMD:
Other External Advisory Reports on ESMD Activities:
”Fostering Visions for the Future: A Review of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts” (2009)
A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program (2008)
Review of NASA’s Human Research Program Evidence Books (2008)
A Risk Reduction Strategy for Human Exploration of Space: A Review of NASA’s Bioastronautics Roadmap [National Research Council, 2006]
Review of NASA Plans for the International Space Station [Space Studies Board, 2006]
Preliminary Considerations Regarding NASA's Bioastronautics Critical Path Roadmap: Interim Report(2005) [Board on Health Sciences Policy (HSP)]
Science in NASA's Vision for Space Exploration(2005) [Space Studies Board (SSB)]
National Academies' Study on Systems Integration Options for Constellation Systems
[National Research Council (Committee on Systems Integration for Project Constellation, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board), October 2004]
Factors Affecting the Utilization of the International Space Station for Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences (TGRISS Phase II)
[National Research Council (Task Group on Research on the International Space Station Membership), Committee on Space Biology and Medicine/Space Studies Board, September 2002]
Safe on Mars: Precursor Measurements Necessary to Support Human Operations on the Martian Surface
[National Research Council/SSB/ASEB, 2002]
Safe Passage: Astronaut Care for Exploration Missions
[Institute of Medicine/Board on Health Sciences Policy/Committee on Creating a Vision for Space Medicine During Travel Beyond Earth Orbit, 2001]
The Role of Microgravity and Physical Sciences Research at NASA (Phase I)
[National Research Council/SSB, December 2001]
Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station (TGRISS Phase I)
[National Research Council (Task Group on Research on the International Space Station Membership), Committee on Space Biology and Medicine/Space Studies Board, December 2001]
Review of NASAs Biomedical Research Program
[National Research Council/SSB/Committee on Space Biology and Medicine]
Microgravity Research in
Support of Technologies for the Human Exploration and Development of Space
and Planetary Bodies
[National Research Council/SSB/Committee on Microgravity Research (2000)]
Future Biotechnology Research on the
International Space Station
[National Research Council/SSB/Task Group for the Evaluation of NASA's Biotechnology Facility for the International Space Station (2000)]
Institutional Arrangements for Space Station Research
[National Research Council/SSB, 2000]
Engineering Research and Technology Development on the Space Station
[National Research Council, 1996]
Technology Transfer: Bringing Innovation To NASA and the Nation
[National Academy of Public Administration, November 2004, PDF 2 MB]
- Reflections on the Commercial Space Center (CSC) Program
[National Academy of Public Administration, June 1998]
- The International Space Station Commercialization Study,
[Potomac Institute for Policy Studies 1997]
- A Review of the Centers for the Commercial Development of Space: Concept and Operation
[National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) 1994]