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Example Solar System Exploration Science Missions Enabled by Nuclear Electric Propulsion


How did the universe begin and evolve? How did we get here? Where are we going? Are we alone? ... Jupiter Icy Moons Tour (orbital characterization of Europa, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Example Solar System Exploration Science Missions Enabled by Nuclear Electric Propulsion

Implementing a Managed Approach to Risk
CommunicationPresentation to NASA GSFC Systems
Engineering SeminarVictoria P.
FriedensenMay 2003
the navigation of interplanetary space depends
for its solution on the problem of atomic
disintegration Robert H. Goddard, 1907
Outline of Todays Presentation
  • Background on Project Prometheus
  • A Short Tutorial on Risk Communication
  • Implementing a Managed Approach to Risk

Space Science EnterpriseAgency Vision and Mission
  • The NASA Vision To improve life here, to
    extend life to there, to find life beyond.
  • The NASA Mission To understand and protect our
    home planet, to explore the universe and search
    for life, to inspire the next generation of
    explorers . . .
  • as only NASA can.
  • Space Science Themes
  • Astronomical Search for Origins
  • Structure and Evolution of the Universe
  • Solar System Exploration
  • Mars Exploration
  • Sun Earth Connection
  • Space Science Vision
  • How did the universe begin and evolve?
  • How did we get here?
  • Where are we going?
  • Are we alone?

The Space Science Vision fully supports the NASA
Match the Power System to the Destination
Kuiper Belt Objects / Comets
Centaur Minor Planets
Main Asteroid Belt
Trans-Neptunian Objects
Trojan Asteroids
Jupiter and Moons
Saturn and Moons
Uranus and Moons
Neptune and Moons
Inner Planets
  • Solar Electric Confinedto Inner Solar System
  • Also limited reach to large outer planetary
    bodies with aerocapture (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus,
    Neptune only)
  • Nuclear Electric for Large Flagship Missions to
    Outer Planets
  • Large Targets
  • 100 kW Class Reactor
  • gt500 kg Payloads
  • Delta IV Launch Vehicles
  • Radioisotope Electric for New Frontiers Class
    Outer Solar System Missions
  • Targets with low Mass
  • 500 W Class RTG
  • lt50 kg payload
  • Delta II Launchers

RTG for Surface Lander
Project Prometheus Overview
  • Safety is the absolute highest priority
  • Key components of Project Prometheus
  • Radioisotope power systems development
  • Nuclear propulsion research
  • Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) development
  • Project Prometheus is in addition to the In-Space
    Propulsion Program already in the baseline

Project Prometheus will enable a new strategic
approach to planetary exploration and is
likelyto play a key role in NASAs future
Space Propulsion Power
  • Today (chemical propulsion radioisotope power)
  • Launch, then coast
  • Constricted ability to operate science
    instruments (power limits)
  • Constricted ability to transmit science data to
  • Constricted launch opportunities due to gravity
  • Cannot orbit multiple moons of outer planets
  • Limited to fleeting observation from flyby
  • Cannot change target mid-mission
  • Future (nuclear electric propulsion)
  • Much greater ability to change speed
  • Much greater (practically unlimited) power for
  • Vastly greater ability to transmit science data
    to Earth
  • No launch constraint to use gravity assists
  • Can orbit multiple objects or moons
  • Vastly greater, persistent observation time
  • Can change target mid-mission (to support change
    in priorities)

NASAs Space Science Strategic Plan Enabled by
Nuclear Electric Propulsion
  • Example of Space Science NEP candidate missions
  • Revolutionary Exploration Missions (multiple
    destinations per Mission) to meet NASAs most
    challenging exploration goals
  • Jupiter Icy Moons Tour (orbital characterization
    of Europa, Ganymede, Callisto)
  • Europa is 1 Large Mission in NRCs Decadal
  • Titan Orbiter and Surface/Atmosphere Explorer
  • Neptune System Orbiter Kuiper Belt Object
  • Kuiper Belt Objects are 1 Moderate Mission
    NRCs Decadal Survey
  • Comet Chaser
  • Revolutionary Missions and Capabilities Using
    Surface Nuclear Power
  • Lunar and Mars Surface Power for Science, Human
    Exploration, Deep Subsurface
  • Earth Protection Support
  • Multiple Near-Earth Object (NEO) Reconnaissance
    and Characterization (the NEO
    prospector mission) and potential mitigation

Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Conceptual Design,
Jupiter Icy Moons TourCharting the Water Worlds
of Jupiter
  • New level of exploration not possible with
    chemical propulsion orbiters
  • Full characterization of all three icy
  • Interior structure and crustal thickness from
    geodesy, magnetics
  • Full range of remote sensing
  • Hi resolution imaging to study moons history
  • IR and thermal spectral studies to search for
    organics, salts
  • Multi-frequency radar tomography of icy crusts
    to depths of 30-40 km
  • Determine processes which bring the ocean to us
  • Search for shallow liquid layers
  • Mass and power margins enable complete
    investigation suite, orders of magnitude larger
    data return than single Europa Orbiter

Many Technologies Extend to a Broad Range of
Future Space Exploration Missions
10 Years
20 Years
  • Many of the technology, fabrication, and
    ground-based capacities developed for the first
    space nuclear propulsion mission have direct
    application to potential follow-on missions
  • Nuclear fuel and clad fabrication capacity
  • Nuclear reactor design, analysis, and
    qualification methodology and software
  • Neutron and gamma shield, and neutron reflector
    fabrication capacity
  • Radiation-tolerant nuclear reactor
    instrumentation and control fabrication
  • Space nuclear reactor power system autonomy
  • Power conversion fabrication capacity
  • Low mass, large-scale radiation-tolerant thermal
    radiators fabrication capacity
  • High power density electrical power control and
    distribution fabrication capacity
  • High power electric propulsion fabrication
  • Safety and launch approval procedures, National
    Environmental Policy Act procedures and actions
  • Ground test facility and support equipment (both
    for zero-power critical testing, and potential
    full power testing)

Evolvable technologies for follow-on science
driven exploration missions
Project Prometheus Communication, Public
Engagement, Education, and Outreach
  • Goal is to ensure open, honest, pro-active,
    inclusive, dialogue and communication with the
    public, media, educators, legislators and others
  • Focus on Project Prometheus-specific
    technological and programmatic goals within the
    context of NASA scientific and exploration goals
  • Plans provide for proactive, cooperative
    engagement with a broad range of potential
    stakeholders including environmental
  • Includes technology education and outreach
    programs and materials available to all citizens

Outline of Todays Presentation
  • Background on Project Prometheus
  • A Short Tutorial on Risk Communication
  • Implementing a Managed Approach to Risk

What is Risk?
  • RISK
  • Probability of a Hazard
  • X
  • Impact of the Hazard Occurring

What is Risk Communication?
Risk Communication is not Telling people what we
want them to know, in order to get them to behave
rationally, that is, the way we think they
should behave.
What is Risk Communication?
  • A defined by the Society for Risk Analysis An
    interactive process of exchange of information
    and opinion among individuals, groups, and
    institutions often involves multiple messages
    about the nature of risk or expressing concerns,
    opinions, or reactions to risk messages or to
    legal or institutional arrangements for risk
  • Our working definition The method by which the
    public can be informed as to the potential risks
    and benefits of specific projects and programs.
  • Risk communication deals with all written and
    verbal external communication with the media,
    public, interest groups, Congress, and other
    government agencies regarding NASA missions or
    programs that are controversial or related to the
    controversial aspects of a mission or program

Risk Communication is Based on Perception of Risk
  • Risks Perceived to
  • Be voluntary
  • Be under an individuals control
  • Have clear benefits
  • Be distributed fairly
  • Be natural
  • Be statistical
  • Be generated by a trusted source
  • Be familiar
  • Affect adults
  • Are More Accepted Than
  • Risks perceived as being imposed
  • Risks perceived to be controlled by others
  • Risks perceived to have little or no benefit
  • Risks perceived to be unfairly distributed
  • Risks perceived to be manmade
  • Risks perceived to be catastrophic
  • Risks perceived to be generated by an untrusted
  • Risks perceived to be exotic
  • Risks perceived to affect children

Understanding the perception of a risk is key to
creating effective Risk Communication products
and opportunities
Developmental Stages in Risk Communication
  • All we have to do is get the numbers right
  • All we have to do is tell them the numbers
  • All we have to do is explain what we mean by the
  • All we have to do is show them that theyve
    accepted similar risks in the past
  • All we have to do is show them that its a good
    deal for them
  • All we have to do is treat them nice
  • All we have to do is make them partners
  • All of the above
  • Source Baruch Fischhoff, Risk Perception and
    Communication Unplugged Twenty Years of
    Process, Journal of Risk Analysis, 15137-45

Risk Communication Can Fail Because
  • On a personal basis
  • It doesnt take into account the psychological
    basis for the perception of risk
  • It fails to recognize why people respond to risks
    the way they do.
  • It refuses to accept that this irrational
    behavior is how humans are programmed to try to
    protect themselves
  • Perception of risk is hardwired and we cant
    help it its how we, as a species, survived
  • It has the goal of making everyone see the risk
    as the communicator sees it
  • Decide-Announce-Defend or Just-the-Facts-Maam
    approaches dont work

Risk Communication Can Fail Because
  • On an organizational basis
  • It is not done proactively, but only after a
    problem has arisen and public responses and ideas
    have already formed
  • It is a lecture, not a conversation
  • It is done by people with a vested interest that
    conflicts with the audience, so it appears that
    the facts cannot be trusted
  • It focuses solely on the facts and the facts
    are not the cause of the controversy

Crisis Heightened public emotions Limited
access to facts Rumor, gossip, speculation,
assumption and inference An unstable
information environment. US HHS 2002
Communicating in a Crisis Risk Communication
Guidelines for Public Officials
Risk Communication Can Be Successful if
  • It accepts that the dialogue sometimes may be
    more about feelings than facts
  • Information is shared and concerns acknowledged
  • All sides appreciate diverse opinions and
    perspectives in an atmosphere of consensus
  • If the communicators are proactively prepared and
    understand their role
  • Consistent messages, open and accountable
    processes, and a solid understanding of the
    importance of good risk communication are

Keys to Good Risk Communication
  • Before Controversy Develops
  • Determine and coordinate the messages
  • What information is crucial to convey and are the
    messages different prior, during or after an
  • What are the obstacles to effective
    communications and how can they be minimized?
  • Ensure that spokespersons are identified and
  • What are the opportunities for effective
    communications and how can they be maximized?
  • What is the environment into which we are
    introducing information?
  • Who are the audiences and what are their
  • Engage the public and media in a long-term
    coordinated dialogue, using a variety of formats
  • What questions can we anticipate from the public
    when we communicate risk messages?
  • What are the new medias responsibilities and how
    can we help reporters meet them?
  • How can we come to understand our audiences?

Risk Communication Components
  • The Risk Message
  • A written, verbal, or visual statement containing
    information about risk may or may not include
    advice about risk reduction behavior a formal
    risk message is a structured written, audio or
    visual packaged developed with the express
    purpose of presenting information about risk.
  • Ease public concern
  • Stay on Message
  • Deliver Accurate and Timely Information
  • US HHS 2002 Communicating in a Crisis Risk
    Communication Guidelines for Public Officials

Risk Communication Components
  • The Risk Communicator
  • The individual or office sending a risk message
    or interacting with other individuals, groups or
    organizations in a risk communication process
    may also be the risk manager, the risk message
    preparer, risk analyst or other expert
  • Use consistent names and terms
  • Avoid acronyms and jargon
  • Carefully consider the use of visuals
  • Answer not only the question how much? but also
    will it hurt me? to ensure the information is
  • Use familiar frames of reference
  • US HHS 2002 Communicating in a Crisis Risk
    Communication Guidelines for Public Officials

Risk Communication Components
  • Acknowledge Uncertainty
  • If information is not known or not available,
    admit it
  • I dont know can actually build credibility
  • Provide as much information as possible
  • Demands for 100 certainty are more likely based
    on underlying values and process, not the
    science. Try to identify the real concerns behind
    the demand
  • Understand the Public Perceptions of Risk
  • Key barrier is the term risk how it is
    measured, described, and ultimately received
  • People do not believe that risks are of the same
    type, size or importance
  • Perception of risk for the technical and lay
    audiences are often dissimilar
  • US HHS 2002 Communicating in a Crisis Risk
    Communication Guidelines for Public Officials

Conclusion if risk communication is successful
  • Institutional and interpersonal trust could be
  • Controversies could be reduced in length,
    strength or frequency
  • Frequency or magnitude of lawsuits could be
  • Programmatic success could become more achievable

Outline of Todays Presentation
  • Background on Project Prometheus
  • A Short Tutorial on Risk Perception and
  • Implementing a Managed Approach to Risk

Why is NASA Doing This?
  • Public attitudes toward NASAs use of space
    nuclear power have changed
  • Pre-Challenger few concerns, NASAs safety
    record unquestioned
  • Post-Challenger issues over shuttle safety
    included concerns about RPS
  • Galileo, Ulysses and Cassini faced media,
    Congressional, and public opposition
  • Opposition increased with each mission
  • Lawsuits filed to stop launches and Earth
  • Letters to White House and Congress, local
    editorials, local political actions,
    international actions
  • NASA forced to spend increasing resources
  • Sources Sandra Dawson, NASA JPL, Risk
    Communication Coordinator,
  • Victoria Friedensen, Protesting SpaceA Study of
    Technology Choice,
  • Perception of Risk, and Space Exploration

Why Bother?
  • Risk communication, if done right, with a
    coordinated message and proactive public
    engagement, can
  • Increase NASAs understanding of what the issues
    and concerns are or might be
  • Reduce misinformation and possible resulting
  • Increase trust among the public, media, and
    local/state/national governments

A Managed Approach to Risk Communication
  • NASA OSS is instituting a set of long-range plans
    that will bring risk communication strategies to
    mission and program planning
  • OSS has plans that are either approved or in
    review that encompass nuclear power for
    spacecraft and planetary protection
  • OSS as a whole
  • Mars Exploration Program
  • New Horizons mission
  • Project Prometheus
  • Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter
  • Project Prometheus is implementing a three-fold
  • Risk communication
  • Public engagement
  • Education and public outreach
  • The goals of these plans are to increase public
    opportunity to learn, reduce controversy, and
    increase trust

Project Prometheus Early Risk Communication
  • Two major areas of prevention
  • Saying the wrong thing
  • Legal risks
  • NEPA and decision making
  • Out of context quotes, misstatements
  • Bad press can be misquoted, sound uninformed,
    appear to be lying, etc.
  • Not communicating
  • Lack of concern perception of arrogance, not
    clear, not enough information
  • Attention to these areas can reduce perception of
  • Source Sandra Dawson, NASA JPL, Risk
    Communication Coordinator

Risk Communication Goals for Project Prometheus
  • Ensure clear, consistent, open, accountable,
    quality, communication processes and products by
    providing training and skills development for
    NASA, DOE, and contractor personnel
  • Enable extended, inclusive engagement with
    stakeholders the scientific community,
    environmental and other public interest groups,
    Congress, Federal Agencies, the media, and the
  • Develop and expand communications products and
    processes to enable public access, public
    engagement and inclusive communications
    processes, such as internet websites, stakeholder
    meetings, public fora, and other opportunities to
    engage the interest of the public

  • Project Prometheus will enable a new paradigm in
    the scientific exploration of the Solar System
  • The proposed JIMO mission will start a new
    generation of missions characterized by more
    maneuverability, flexibility, power and lifetime
  • Project Prometheus organization is established at
    NASA Headquarters where
  • Risk Communication, Public Engagement, and
    Education and Outreach are considered integral
    parts of Project Prometheus, and like safety, are
    being designed into the program from the
  • Risk Communication will become an Agency-wide
    function, with training and support provided for
    all Project Prometheus teams

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if we flew to
Mars electrically. Werner von Braun, 1947
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