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Experts Sought for Committee Assessing Long Term Risks of Space Radiation Exposure

NASA aims to mitigate the harmful effects of the space radiation environment on astronaut health outside of the relative protection of the Earth's magnetosphere. Credits: NASA / SOHO

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is searching for experts to serve on a study which will review and assess NASA’s processes and strategies for managing the uncertainties of long-term cancer risks due to space radiation exposure in crewed space missions beyond low Earth orbit.

Committee expertise is being sought in the fields of radiation health, cancer biology, biostatistics, epidemiology, medical genetics, clinical medicine, laboratory medicine, bioethics, and other appropriate professionals.

Specifically, the committee will:

  • Review the data on the association between radiation exposure and cancer risk, and consider the best ways for NASA to apply the data to manage the risk assessment process to currently anticipated crewed missions. With respect to NASA processes, the review will consider a broad range of factors and analytic techniques that may include uncertainty management utilizing confidence intervals around cancer mortality, radiation quality factor determination and utilization, and the use of the dose and dose-rate effectiveness factor (DDREF).
  • Review and assess NASA’s proposed process and strategies for managing the uncertainties of long-term cancer risks due to space radiation exposure in crewed space missions beyond low Earth orbit.

In conducting the review the committee will consider the following:

  • NASA’s present processes for assessing uncertainty from radiation risk exposure in crewed space missions compared to terrestrial methods for clinical applications, and how data from ground-based research on the relationship between of radiation exposure and cancer risk should inform NASA’s approach to risk management for crewed missions.
  • How to consistently manage the uncertainty of space radiation exposure risk assessments across spaceflight with respect to anticipated NASA space missions, and known clinical risks.
  • How to express what is needed in a form of a radiation risk management process or approach NASA could apply to determine astronaut eligibility for crewed missions.

The deadline to nominate yourself or colleagues is Friday, October 9, 2020.

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