The latest decennial report from the National Academy, titled “Thriving in Space,” serves as a roadmap for biological and physical scientific research in space until the year 2033. Co-chaired by Krystyn Van Vliet, Vice President for Research and Innovation, the report aims to gather input from the scientific community to guide research priorities in the coming years and provide a consensus report for future decision-makers.
The report establishes a methodology for setting priorities in space research projects, identifying common scientific concepts and formulating scientific questions that can be answered through space research. Criteria are then used to evaluate the importance and potential impact of each question on space exploration.
The report emphasizes the need for a significant increase in funding for biological and physical scientific research in space, both from NASA and the government at large, as well as other sources.
It focuses on three main themes: adapting to space as new destinations are explored, living and traveling in space for extended periods, and exploring phenomena that are hidden from Earth. Each of the 11 identified scientific questions in the report is included in one of these themes.
The report emphasizes the importance of focusing efforts on priority questions and responsibly using space as a resource for scientific discovery. Collaborative research, public-private partnerships, and broader participation in the scientific community are recommended. The report also proposes two major research campaigns to further advance space research.
In summary, the decennial report “Thriving in Space” provides a comprehensive guide for space research and highlights the need for increased funding, focused endeavors, and responsible use of space resources to advance scientific knowledge and benefit society.
Sources: “Thriving in Space” Decennial Survey by the National Academies.