IAA Cosmic Studies

IAA Published Cosmic Studies

Most of the IAA studies are available for sale in hardcopy format through the IAA online shop. For the interested Academy members, an electronic version of the study is available through the traditional restricted area in the subdirectory “Active Members (R)” with the login and password that is provided to active Academicians. In the event you have lost this information, you can request login and password at “Contact us“.

IAA Cosmic Studies - Space Physical Sciences

Future Planetary Robotic Exploration: the Need for International Cooperation (SG 1.03)

Future Planetary Robotic Exploration: the Need for International Cooperation, Published 2010, 44 pages.

The report from the IAA study on “Future Planetary Robotic Exploration: the Need for International Cooperation” was approved by the Board of Trustees of IAA and presented at the historic Heads of Space Agencies Summit on November 17, 2010 in Washington DC, US. The report reviews the scientific quest to increase our knowledge of the origin and evolution of the solar system, and to search for signs of life within it. It gives a summary of planned robotic exploration activities, as well as challenges and needed R&D solutions. The report addresses in particular: 1) Scientific exploration of the solar system – The driving science goals for the coming decades; 2) Space weather and the characterization of the space environment; 3) R&D investment and key enabling technologies ; 4) Human-mission technology validation; 5) The case and potential areas for international cooperation in robotic and human exploration of deep space.

Space-Applications in Climate Change and Green Systems: the Need for International Cooperation (SG 1.04)

Space-Applications in Climate Change and Green Systems: the Need for International Cooperation, Published 2010, 66 pages.

Over the past half-century, space systems and activities have made crucial contributions to the study and understanding of climate change, through the multi-decade accumulation of vast quantities of scientific data concerning the atmosphere, the oceans, the lands, and the mechanisms of exchanges between these domains. The future activities of the global space community can make significant contributions to monitoring and understanding both the causes and the consequences of Climate Change, as well as to mitigating its effects. This report of the International Academy of Astronautics addresses these potential contributions, examining three critically important themes: observing Earth from space, leveraging the integration of space and ground systems, and enabling novel green systems and technologies. The report finds that there is already significant and successful international cooperation, particularly as regards Earth observation, but that still more can be done. The report concludes by presenting the recommendations of the Academy to the global space community for action in each thematic area, including crosscutting actions for enhanced international cooperation both among the members of the space community, and with organizations external to it.

Global Satellite System for monitoring and forecasting of the Earth seismic activity (SG 1.8)

Global Satellite System for monitoring and forecasting of the Earth seismic activity, published in May 2017, 131 pages.

The Cosmic Study shows that Ionosphere precursors of increasing seismic activity are still difficult to identify and even theory of seismic-ionosphere need to be elaborated. As a consequence the Cosmic Study calls for research to verify hypotheses concerning mechanisms of the seismo-ionosphere link. The data of the atmosphere and ionosphere were analyzed and the need of a constellation was elaborated to allow permanent measurements and the IAA Cosmic Study concludes on a call for cooperation to make the constellation fully international.

Declaration of Principles Concerning Activities Following the Detection of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SG 1.7)

Declaration of Principles Concerning Activities Following the Detection of Extraterrestrial Intelligence, April 1989, Paris, France, 2 pages.

This text, endorsed by more than 15 international organizations, is a Declaration of Principles Concerning Activities Following the Detection of Extraterrestrial Intelligence. It is an agreement to observe principles for disseminating information in the event of detection of extraterrestrial intelligence. To access the full text click here: (Declaration of Principles Concerning Activities Following the Detection of Extraterrestrial Intelligence)

The Energetic Particle Radiation Hazard en route to and at Mars (SG 1.5)

The Energetic Particle Radiation Hazard en route to and at Mars, published in March 2017, 403 pages.

We understand today that the potential health hazard posed to crews in deep space due to energetic particle radiation is a matter of even greater complexity than was recognized in earlier times. Scientists, Engineers and Biologists worldwide are presently investigating, in many interdisciplinary communities the problems concerned using new avenues of approach, backed up by powerful diagnostic tools, in an attempt to find a viable solution. The outcome of these multidisciplinary approaches will decide if the vulnerability of the human body will ultimately confine humanity to the cradle of Mother Earth or if, rather, mankind can indeed in future populate distant environments.

The Next Steps in Exploring Deep Space (SG 1.1)

The Next Steps in Exploring Deep Space, First Published 2007, University Press (India) Private Limited, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad, 146 pages.

The purpose of this report is to articulate a vision for the scientific exploration of space in the first half of the 21 st Century. The compelling scientific and cultural imperatives that guide this vision provide the context for a logical, systematic, and evolutionary architecture for human expansion into the solar system. This architecture represents a new approach leading ultimately to human exploration of Mars and a permanent human presence in the solar system. Within this framework, scientific objectives are used to determine the destinations for human explorers, and each successive destination and new set of capabilities is established as a stepping-stone to further exploration. Robotic missions continue to play a key role in achieving the science objectives and preparing for human exploration. Such an integrated robotic-human exploration program can be safe, cost-effective, exciting, and scientifically rewarding, and thus can have the public appeal and political support that are prerequisites for sustainable long-term human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.

IAA Cosmic Studies - Space Life Sciences

EVA Safety, Space Suit Interoperability (SG 2.01)

EVA Safety, Space Suit Interoperability, September 1996, Paris France, 15 pages.

The position paper concludes the need to remedy the lack of space suit systems interoperability and makes recommendations, both system specific and generic, on how to improve the situation based on identified EVA space suit system interoperability deficiencies. This will support decision makers and engineers in providing a maximum of safety and operational flexibility of future EVA space suit systems expected to be necessary for the operation of space transportation vehicles and orbital bases. Assembly and maintenance of the International Space Station will, by the turn of this century require some 25-40 extravehicular activities (EVA) sorties of 300-500 hours per year. This annual effort is equivalent to the total Russian Salyut-MIR. The necessity to remove the critical incompatibilities to enhance mission flexibility and to increase the level of safety for EVA has been assessed. The requirement for international standards has been identified. In future international cooperation scenarios an EVA space suit system of any national origin must be able to support any other space suit system or spacecraft regardless of its origin. Therefore space suit interoperability is mandatory to warrant a maximum of safety.

Space Physiology and Medicine in the Exploration Era: the IAA Virtual Institute of Space Life Sciences and Medicine (SG 2.13)

Space Physiology and Medicine in the Exploration Era: the IAA Virtual Institute of Space Life Sciences and Medicine, published in March 2016, 21 pages.

In view of future space exploration goals, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) space physiology and medicine community strongly advocates increasing the available opportunities for life sciences research in space and on the ground, including research in medicine, physiology, biology, neurobehavioral and radiation effects, and concurrently increasing efforts to better link the results of life sciences research on Earth and in space. Such a strengthening of the ties between groundbased and space research will be beneficial for both parties by improving health care on Earth and supporting human exploration of space. It will also substantially increase the support for human spaceflight in the general population, as the results can be directly applied to normal ground-based medicine. These goals can be achieved by the following actions: • Strengthen the links between space and terrestrial life sciences; • Strengthen international collaboration in space life sciences; • Strengthen joint research on fundamental questions in the life sciences; • Maintain the opportunities to study human physiology and molecular as well as animal model systems in microgravity and the radiation environment in orbit by extending the lifetime of the International Space Station and through direct collaborations with governments and companies, thus providing extended opportunities for studying long-term human adaptation to microgravity; • Perform human exploration step-by-step with sound scientific tasks for the astronauts; • Consider relevant scientific research beyond the scope of the International Space Station, in line with the goals set out under the ISECG (2013) Global Exploration Road Map, to undertake planetary exploration. In order to achieve these ambitious goals, the IAA Life Sciences Community advocates the formation of a “Virtual Institute of Space Life Sciences and Medicine (VISLSaM)”. The basic concept of this institute is described in the current study.

Space Life Sciences for Africa, International Cooperation for Space Life Sciences Knowledge Sharing and Development in Africa (SG 2.10)

Space Life Sciences for Africa, International Cooperation for Space Life Sciences Knowledge Sharing and Development in Africa, published in 2014, 49 pages.

This cosmic study aims to develop the IAA’s strategy for space life sciences knowledge development and sharing for emerging space-faring African nations in general and for Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) in particular. The study’s review of space activities in Africa reveals that two African countries—Nigeria and South Africa—have fully developed space agencies and programs. The cosmic study charge is to assess existing space-related activities among African nations and suggest strategies to enable and promote space life sciences research and educational outreach in African countries seeking to expand their role in the space science community through increased international cooperation. The goals of this cosmic study are to: review existing space exploration activities in Africa; recommend feasible IAA strategies for space life sciences knowledge development and sharing in Africa; and suggest a design for a roadmap showing how Africa’s space-faring countries may develop international partnerships to produce indigenous space life sciences research and educational outreach programs in a rapidly globalizing space exploration world.

Guidelines for Standardization of Bed Rest Studies in the Spaceflight Context (SG 2.9)

Guidelines for Standardization of Bed Rest Studies in the Spaceflight Context, published 2014, 70 pages.

Bed rest studies, in which healthy volunteers are confined to bed in a 6° head-down tilt position, are a well-established model for some of the adaptations experienced by astronauts during spaceflight. They are therefore a very valuable tool both for investigating possible mechanisms and for testing measures to counter these adaptations. Further, the results obtained in these studies have obvious relevance and applications in terrestrial clinical contexts, which make them even more useful. Many space agencies (and in some cases even individual investigator teams) around the world are involved in organizing bed rest studies. However the conditions in which these studies are performed are quite diverse. Differences lie, for example, in the duration of studies, angle (6° tilt or horizontal), sunlight exposure, sleep/wake cycles, nutritional standards and control. This complicates drawing overall conclusions and comparing results on countermeasure effectiveness between different studies. In order to achieve better standardization of bed rest studies in the spaceflight context, an International Academy of Astronauts (IAA) study group was initiated, including members from most of the entities that are actively pursuing this type of activity. This cosmic study represents the outcome of the work of the study group. Standardization can be differentiated to two different aspects: standardization of the conditions of bed rest studies and standardization of a core set of measurements to ensure that a minimum of outcome data are available from every study. Consequently this report contains description of these two aspects.

E-Learning, Education Content Sharing: Technical & Legal Issues in Space Life Sciences (SG 2.8)

E-Learning, Education Content Sharing: Technical & Legal Issues in Space Life Sciences, published in March 2016, 95 pages.

The study investigated the status of e-learning in the Life Sciences section in collaborations with other scientific fields and especially focused on the search, sharing and digital rights of educational materials, technologies and technological platforms used in educational activities. The overall goals of the study group were mainly, and by promoting cross-disciplinary collaboration in space medicine, to report on (electronic) educational activities occurring around the globe in this scientific area, to facilitate the registration of experiences on the utilization of contemporary platforms/environments for e-learning deployment, to spread experiences related to conformance with educational standards, to facilitate the e-exchange of educational digital material among educators and finally experiment with the implementation of digital copyright.

Medical Safety and Liability Issues for Short-Duration Commercial Orbital Space Flights (SG 2.6)

Medical Safety and Liability Issues for Short-Duration Commercial Orbital Space Flights, Published 2009, 32 pages.

The objective of this report is to identify and prioritize medical screening considerations in order to preserve the health and promote the safety of paying passengers who intend to participate in short-duration flights (up to 4 weeks) onboard commercial orbital space vehicles. This report is intended to provide general medical guidance to the operators of orbital manned commercial space vehicles for the medical assessment of prospective passengers. More specifically, this report is intended for medical personnel employed by commercial space vehicle operators. Physicians supported by other appropriate health professionals who are trained and experienced in the concepts of aerospace medicine should perform the medical assessments of all prospective space passengers. In view of the wide variety of possible approaches that can be used to design and operate orbital manned commercial space vehicles in the foreseeable future, the IAA medical safety considerations are generic in scope and are based on current analysis of physiological and pathological changes that may occur as a result of human exposure to operational and environmental risk factors present during orbital space flight.

Psychology and Culture during Long-Duration Space Missions (SG 2.4)

Psychology and Culture during Long-Duration Space Missions, First Published 2009, DLR, 55 pages.

The objective of this report is twofold: a) to describe the current knowledge of cultural, psychological, psychiatric, cognitive, and interpersonal issues that are relevant to the behavior and performance of astronaut crews and ground support personnel; and b) to make recommendations for future human space missions, including both transit and planetary surface operations on the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Potential readers include members of the IAA; space agency personnel, including astronauts and cosmonauts; and people interested in the psychological and cultural aspects of humans working in space. The focus is on long-duration missions lasting at least six weeks, when important psychological and interpersonal factors begin to take their toll on crewmembers. This information is designed to provide guidelines for astronaut selection and training, in-flight monitoring and support, and post-flight recovery and re-adaptation.

Artificial Gravity Research to enable Human Space Exploration (SG 2.2)

Artificial Gravity Research to enable Human Space Exploration, Published 2009, 37 pages.

The scope of the report covered the key biomedical research questions that need to be answered to make artificial gravity a practical countermeasure and the facilities and flight opportunities required to answer key questions to accomplish the necessary research. Human and animal experiments, on Earth and in space, were considered for both short-radius intermittent centrifugation and long-radius continuous rotation paradigms.

IAA Cosmic Studies - Space Technology & System Development

The Road to the Space Elevator Era (SG 3.24)

The Road to the Space Elevator Era, published in 2019, 175 pages.

This study report summarizes the assessment of the space elevator as of the summer of 2018. The encouraging aspect is that the space elevator community has been reinvigorated and is pulling together experiments and test programs to push the technology along the path to readiness. Several of these breakthrough are the ones we were searching for after completion of the first IAA study. We see the way forward! The global needs for a space elevator are remarkable. When the price to geosynchronous orbit is lowered to one-hundredth of the price of launching by rocket, the whole situation changes as to access to orbit. However, the real strengths are not only price but massive movement and other characteristics such as routine, daily, safe and no shake-rattle-roll of launch. The environmentally friendly lifts will be an important aspect of implementing space elevators vs. rockets in the long run. One key to recognize is that we move from individual events to continuous operations of an infrastructure with the space elevator. We would move to a system with the costs representing recurring expenses, not replacement costs. The concept is to move to a “bridge to space,” not a system of individual rocket launches. The question on the table is “are we actually on the road to a space elevator?” The study answers that question in a positive manner. Yes, we are on the road to the space elevator era! This study report assesses the global needs for a space elevator and then lays out functional requirements that can lead to technological needs and identification of processes for development. The development of the needs and requirements lead to the chapters assessing the critical technologies and then recommends the risk reduction approaches for segment and system level verification. In addition, Chapter Six defines validation testing for the customer, as a milestone towards total project funding. The essence of the whole study report is that a broad group of space professionals gathered together and assessed the status of the space elevator development. Each of them contributed their expertise and then came to similar conclusions about the space elevator progress. Two conclusions are: 1 – Space Elevators seem feasible [reinforces IAA’s 2013 study conclusion] and 2 – Space Elevator development initiation is nearer than most think!

The Case for an International Lunar Base (SG 3.01)

The Case for an International Lunar Base, November 1989, Paris, France, 64 pages.

The study concludes that development on an international Lunar Base would occur in four phases: phase 1 would focus on lunar exploration culminating with the construction and operation of a manned lunar orbit station by the year 2004; phase 2 would involve the establishment of a lunar research laboratory; phase 3 would deal with the development of a major production facility and phase 4 would witness the evolution (possibly through commercial backing) of the Moon base into a full-blown lunar settlement with a high degree of self-sufficiency by the end of the 21st century.

International Exploration of Mars: A Mission whose time has come (SG 3.02)

International Exploration of Mars: A Mission whose time has come, April 1993, Paris, France, 133 pages.

The Study concludes that international space exploration uniquely offers humanity access to an exciting frontier of new knowledge. Discoveries on new worlds in new environments by robotic explorers add to our knowledge of the Solar system, but they also explore the possibilities of extension of human life beyond our fragile Earth. Subsequent visits by astronauts to these other worlds will provide real data on the feasibility of such dreams. Travel to Mars is technically challenging. Therefore, a comprehensive program of Martian exploration must include both robotic and human missions. The study recommends a focused robotic precursor effort with an on-going effort of robotic missions to assist the choice of the emplacement of human outposts and continue human scientific exploration. The form of the Mars exploration program will be influenced by the nature of the organization created to implement it. In this Cosmic Study the Academy has argued strongly for an international effort. Although the current programs of Mars exploration are already international in character, it a need is foreseen to increase the level of cooperation and coordination for future missions. A world which is being drawn together ever more closely by advances in communication and transportation needs consensus on visions of a future accessible to all.

Preparing for the 21st Century Program of Integrated Lunar and Martian Exploration and Development (SG 3.03)

Preparing for the 21st Century Program of Integrated Lunar and Martian Exploration and Development, Paris, France, 114 pages.

This report is an initial review of plans for an extensive program to survey and develop the Moon and to explore the planet Mars during the current century. It presents updated typical plans for separate, associated and fully integrated programs of Lunar and Martian research, exploration and development, and concludes that detailed integrated plans must be prepared and be subject to formal criticism and ‘peer review’. In particular, the claims of daring, innovative, but untried systems must be compared with the known performance of existing technologies. The time has come to supersede the present haphazard approach to comprehensive strategic space studies with a formal international structure to plan for future advanced space missions under the aegis of the world’s national space agencies, and supported by governments and the corporate sector.

Space Mineral Resources – A Global Assessment of the Challenges and Opportunities (SG 3.17)

Space Mineral Resources – A Global Assessment of the Challenges and Opportunities, published in 2015, 392 pages.

The exploitation of space mineral resources is becoming a commercial space endeavor for the benefit of humanity and profit. In 2012, the IAA approved a broad study of the technology, economics, legal and policy aspects of identifying, obtaining, and using these resources. In 2013 and 2014, multiple commercial ventures announced their intensions to initiate human (and robotic) missions to the Moon, Mars and asteroids. The question on the table is not “how” to leverage space minerals resources, but ”how best” to leverage them. The purpose of this study is to provide, in one document, the current state of the art of the technology, economics, law & policy related to Space Mineral Resource (SMR) opportunities. The study will make specific recommendations for moving forward as it will also provide a brief analysis of opportunities. The industrial use of SMR is no longer science fiction; and, feasibility is no longer a function entirely of engineering – the game changer is recognized to be economics. Preliminary economic conclusions include (1) architectures based upon returning precious metals to terrestrial markets alone appears to be a non-starter, (2) the existence of in-space customers for propellants, consumables, structural materials, and shielding could make asteroid mining economically feasible, and (3) longer-term hybrid architectures with both terrestrial and in-space customers could become feasible as costs drop and market size increases. This study was conducted under the assumption that the international space community can make a difference. The study was primarily conducted by knowledgeable professionals from two industries: the space arena and the commercial mining industry. As such, this report was written for two audiences: global space leadership and the mining industry. We, as an industry and as a portion of humanity, can change the current arrow of history so that it points in optimistic directions allowing the human condition to improve and expand. The change that is mandated to accomplish this is to: Leverage the phenomenal resources available in our solar system. From space – For Space!

Global Human Mars System Missions Exploration – Goals, Requirements and Technologies (SG 3.16)

Global Human Mars System Missions Exploration – Goals, Requirements and Technologies, published in August 2016, 152 pages.

Human Missions to Mars have been studied individually by several Space Agencies over the past decades. However, a ooperative Human Mars mission framework including, but not limited to requirements and technologies, is missing. The book identifies, assess and synthesizes a global set of goals with its related criteria requirements for future human exploration of the Mars system and establish technology opportunities and roadmaps in the context of promising cooperative exploration scenarios. The study aims to identify means to minimize the risks at global level.

Long-Term Space Propellant Depot (SG 3.15)

Long-term Space Propellant Depot, Published in January 2018, 106 pages.

The adoption of propellant depots in space is being investigated since years as a key enabler of new space missions, promising to have an important impact on the design and operations of future space transportation systems, space exploration missions, and commercial space operations. The objective of this IAA Study is an in-depth assessment of all the aspects related to the design, development and operations of long-term space depots of storable and/or cryogenic propellants in support of the above applications. Due to the innovation of the involved technologies, the need of standardised interfaces, the complexity of the servicing and utilisation scenario and the landscape of target missions involving their utilisation, Space Propellant Depots are ideal candidates for international collaborations to be put in place for their procurement and use. In this respect, a major scope of the IAA study is also to look at the possibilities of international programmes, either institutional or commercial, in support of Long Term Space Propellant Depot concepts.

Public/Private Human Access to Space — Volume 2: Earth Orbit and Beyond (SG 3.14)

Public/Private Human Access to Space – Vol. 2 – Earth Orbit and Beyond, Published in January 2018, 88 pages.

The chartered theme of the cosmic study group is “Public/Private Human Access to Space,” informally referred to in this report as the “Human Orbital Market” or the “HOM” cosmic study group. The goal of the HOM cosmic study is to estimate the emergence of HOMs for different countries or regions around the world. This cosmic study employs a five-phase approach that incorporates multiple research methods. Due to the complexity of collecting meaningful data, and the inherent uncertainty of data in emerging markets, a primary focus is put on basic discovery activities (identifying relevant archival and statistical data) and qualitative assessments. The five analysis phases of the HOM cosmic study approach include: • Phase 1. Target Market Assessment: Identifying the specific human orbital space markets being targeted. • Phase 2. Literature Review: Conduct a search of the open, available literature (publicly available, for free or for a fee) of relevant reports and articles. • Phase 3. Entrepreneurial Environment Assessment: Identify relevant political, legal, capital, historical and cultural factors and structures. • Phase 4. National HOM Industry Competitiveness Assessment: Identify the set of industries that comprise, support, or are related to the identified human orbital space markets, using a standardized methodology. • Phase 5. HOM Industry Emergence Assessment: Qualitatively evaluate the likelihood that these industry clusters are sufficient for the eventual natural evolution of human orbital space markets.

Space Elevators: an Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward (SG 3.13)

Space Elevators: an Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward, published in 2013, 349 pages.

This book addresses the simple and complex issues that have been identified through the development of space elevator concepts over the last decade. The report begins with a summary of those ideas in Edwards’ and Westling’s book The Space Elevator (2003). Out of these beginnings has risen a worldwide cadre focused upon their areas of expertise as applied to space elevator development and operational infrastructure. The report answers some basic questions about the feasibility of a space elevator infrastructure. A preview of the main questions and answers shows the depth and breadth of this Cosmic Study: Why a space elevator? Can it be done? How would all the elements fit together to create a system of systems? What are the technical feasibility of each major space elevator element?

Space Solar Power, The First International Assessment of Space Solar Power: Opportunities, Issues And Potential Pathways Forward (SG 3.11)

Space Solar Power, The First International Assessment of Space Solar Power: Opportunities, Issues And Potential Pathways Forward, published in 2011, 249 pages.

Now, more than ever, large-scale and sustainable new energy sources are needed to meet global needs while satisfying environmental concerns. During the past 40 years, various national studies have been performed of the concept of space solar power – i.e., using Solar Power Satellites (SPS) to harvest sunlight in space and deliver green energy via wireless power transmission to markets on Earth. During 2008-2010, the first international assessment of space solar power was conducted by a study group under the auspices of the International Academy of Astronautics. This document is the final report from the SSP study group; it addresses the technical feasibility of the concept, prospective markets and expected policy issues. The report describes and evaluates in some depth three alternative SPS concepts; it concludes with a high-level set of findings and specific recommendations for the consideration of the global space and energy community. Overall, the study group found that space solar power is technically feasible, but that economics of SPS can only be determined by means of international end-to-end systems studies, focused technology maturation and systems-level demonstrations. An international roadmap for realizing this goal is presented, which could achieve a major pilot-plant scale demonstration within 10-15 years.

Key Technologies to Enable Near-Term Interstellar Scientific Precursor Missions (SG 3.10)

Key Technologies to Enable Near-Term Interstellar Scientific Precursor Missions, published in 2013, 95 pages.

This Cosmic Study considers the near-term implementation of robotic Interstellar Precursor probes, which should be considered as precursors to true interstellar missions. Destinations for such missions include the heliopause at >100 AU and the Sun’s inner gravity focus at 550 AU. Current propulsion systems capable of reaching such destinations on trajectories requiring decades of travel time include the solar sail and nuclear-electric rocket. As well as presenting a consideration of near- and far-term propulsion technologies to implement such missions, this Study considers multiple aspects of potential destinations, science, and associated technologies.

Private Human Access to Space — Volume 1: Suborbital Flights (SG 3.9)

Private Human Access to Space Volume 1: Suborbital Flights, published in 2014, 98 pages.

Public access to space has been mentioned since many decennia by visionary authors like Tsiolkovski. Initial thoughts were clearly geared towards longer duration orbital stays in so-called space hotels. More recently, as a first step, the potential of private suborbital flights have raised more interest. Some of the technical challenges are still considerable, but very important challenges such as re-entry into the atmosphere are less demanding for flight levels just over 100Km. Starting with the X-Prize competition, which demonstrated the feasibility of this type of project with the first flights in 2004, a number of the competitors are now working on dedicated vehicles. Early bookings and the high indication of interest prove that a considerable market segment of the population is interested in such an experience and quite highly motivated, even though at this stage when an operational solution is not yet available. Suborbital flights in the frame of ‘adventure tourism’ therefore no doubt have a potential market. Legal and regulatory issues are an additional concern. There are therefore a lot of strong points to be mentioned in favor of suborbital spaceflight, but there are also a number of threats and risks. Therefore, the main points are mapped in a SWOT analysis, which identifies the various Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats of this new business. As a result of this analysis, a number of recommendations are made.

Dealing with the Threat to Earth from Asteroids and Comets (SG 3.5)

Dealing with the Threat to Earth from Asteroids and Comets, Published 2009, 140 pages.

The Earth has been struck by asteroids and comets (Near-Earth Objects, NEOs) many times throughout its history. This report of the International Academy of Astronautics addresses the nature of the threat, expected future impacts, and the consequences of impacts from various size NEOs. It reviews current programs to detect, track, and characterize NEOs, and the future improvements required in order to take responsible and timely action. It identifies a number of techniques that could alter an incoming NEO’s orbit so as to avoid an impact. It addresses the organizational aspects that will have to be dealt with if a serious international capability is to be developed and employed to mitigate the threat. It then addresses behavioral factors and the sociological and psychological aspects of the threat and attempts at its mitigation before, during, and after an intercept attempt, whether successful or not. Lastly the report examines some of the principal international policy implications that must be dealt with if the world is to act in a timely, unified, and effective way with the very real threat due to NEOs.

IAA Study on Nuclear Space Power and Propulsion Systems (SG 3.2)

IAA Study on Nuclear Space Power and Propulsion Systems, Published 2008, AIAA, 284 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1-56347-951-9.

The objective of this report is to give an expert, straightforward, and complete outlook on the uses of nuclear energy applied to space missions. Starting from fundamental physics, Chapter 1 explains the advantages of nuclear energy and explores the performance limits of nuclear propulsion in terms of specific impulse, thrust, power, and mass. Following chapters discuss the tremendous accomplishments of the past and moves into more current technology. High-power electric propulsion of all types is extensively covered. These chapters show how nuclear power can be engineered into a propulsion system now, not in ten or twenty years. Final chapters deal with the legislative and safety issues connected with the use of nuclear power on spacecraft according to UN treaty for Outer Space issues such as practical designs of space- or ground-based nuclear reactors. Finally an appendix gives accurate and up to date information on the effects of radiation on human health and what is to be expected from the use of nuclear power in space. An account of the Chernobyl accident is included.

IAA Cosmic Studies - Space System Operation & Utilization

Inexpensive Scientific Satellite Missions (SG 4.01)

Inexpensive Scientific Satellite Missions, June 1990, Paris, France, 23 pages.

The Position Paper concludes that “inexpensive” scientific satellites, despite the non-precise definition of this notion, must fill the gaps between the major programs of the great space agencies, that they can be developed with short lead-times, and that the rules of management and technical implementation differ considerably from those applied in the major programs. The advantage of such class of satellites is obvious: it allows for higher flight frequencies and shorter times in implementing new technological developments. Ideally the lead-times can be made to correspond with the educational cycle of space science students. For many countries, no other than “inexpensive” satellites in this sense are conceivable for budgetary constraints. Hence there is a commonality between the programs of such nations and those which have the possibility of sending man into space and explore other planets.

Definition and Requirements of Small Satellites Seeking Low-Cost and Fast-Delivery (SG 4.18)

Definition and Requirements of Small Satellites Seeking Low-Cost and Fast-Delivery, Published in January 2018, 83 pages.

Objectives of this report are to examine the definitions of small satellites, identify the requirements every satellite should follow regardless of its size or development philosophy and then reflect some of the findings to the draft of ISO-20991, “Space Systems – Requirements for Small Spacecraft”. The standard aims at describing minimum requirements for small satellites to answer the concerns raised over due to the recent explosive growth of small satellite launches. Over the course of the study, intensive discussion was made about how to describe small satellites best. The majority of the opinions was that neither “mass” nor “size” is suitable for defining small satellites. Rather, philosophy of design, manufacturing, mission, program management, etc., should be used for the definition. The study group came to the conclusion that using the term “lean satellite” to reflect satellite development philosophy is more suitable than saying “small satellite”.
To access the report, please use the following link: final report.

Coordination and Cooperation for Global Environmental Impact (SG 4.11)

Coordination and Cooperation for Global Environmental Impact, Published March 2017, 70 pages.

This international cooperation work has identified several important goals described in this IAA Cosmic Study such as : Prioritize the needs for global environment monitoring and opportunities to serve the human using space technology; Develop methodology of integrated observation on global environment monitoring considering international sciences questions, including acquisition of scientific evidence, data integration and so on; Review key technologies for monitoring global and regional environment changes and provide recommendations for space applications; Cooperation Program for Global Environmental Impact; Deploy fundamental and strategic scientific activities about countermeasures and policies on international cooperation and related laws and regulations.

Distributed Space Missions for Earth System Monitoring (SG 4.10)

SG 4.10 – Distributed Space Missions for Earth System Monitoring (M. D’Errico / J. Wertz), Published 2013, 675 pages.

The aim of this book is to: (1) produce a comprehensive picture of the state of the art considering current research and mission programs; (2) identify applications which could benefit from this approach; (3) analyze most significant and innovative aspects, e.g. distributed payloads and their operation, spacecraft buses  able to support such missions, launcher availability and/or required developments, relative orbit design, relative navigation and control (and required sensors/actuators), inter-satellite data link (telemetry & command, payload data). Critical issues are identified and recommendations proposed. In particular, prospect and opportunities of fully-fledged autonomous formations integrating a large number of platforms as follow-on of scheduled or studied formations based on two or a few spacecrafts are addressed.

Global Aerospace Monitoring for Disaster Forecasting (SG 4.9)

Global Aerospace Monitoring for Disaster Forecasting, Published in October 2017, 85 pages.

This Cosmic Study is studying the subject of the international aerospace system for monitoring of global geophysical phenomena and forecasting of the natural and man-caused disasters to research the potential to decrease the dangerous and negative consequences of the global geophysical phenomena, natural and man-caused disasters with use of the up-to-date and advanced aerospace facilities and technologies of the prognostic monitoring. The main goal of the study was to give the proposals concerning creation of the International Global Monitoring Aerospace System (IGMASS) for monitoring of the global geophysical phenomena and forecasting of the natural and man-caused disasters on the base of the efficient development and sharing use of the aerospace capabilities, advanced technologies in the field of the Earth lithosphere, atmosphere and ionosphere monitoring, data processing methods and instruments for the purposes to decrease the dangerous and negative consequences of the global geophysical phenomena, natural and man-caused disasters.

Cost Effective Earth Observation Missions (SG 4.4)

Cost Effective Earth Observation Missions, October 2005, A. A. Balkema Publisher, a member of Taylor & Francis Group plc. Laiden, The Netherlands, 160 pages. Publication sponsored by DLR, Germany.

Cost-effective missions can be achieved by using different approaches and methods. One of the possible approaches is taking full advantage of the ongoing technology developments leading to further miniaturization of engineering components, development of micro-technologies for sensors and instruments which allow designing dedicated, well-focused Earth observation missions. This Study provides a definition of cost-effective Earth observation missions, information about background material and organizational support, shows the cost drivers and how to achieve cost-effective missions, and provides a chapter dedicated to training and education. The focus is on the status quo and prospects of applications in the field of Earth observation.
To access the report, please use the following link: final report.

IAA Cosmic Studies - Space Physical Sciences

Position Paper on Orbital Debris (SG 5.01)

Position Paper on Orbital Debris, September 2001, Paris, France, 37 pages (earlier version published May 1993).

Human activities in space are increasingly at risk resulting from earlier uncontrolled production of artificial debris. Being concerned about this problem which causes a growing threat for the future of spaceflight, the paper elaborates on the need and urgency for action and indicates ways for their implementation. The following actions are recommended: No deliberate break-ups of spacecraft which produce debris in long-lived orbits; minimization of mission-related debris; passivation of all rocket bodies and spacecraft which remain in orbit after completion of their mission; selection of transfer orbit parameters to insure the rapid decay of transfer stages within 25 years; reorbiting of geostationary satellites at end-of-life (minimum altitude increase 300 km); separated ABM’s used for geostationary satellites should be inserted into a disposal orbit at least 300 km above the geostationary orbit; upper stages used to move geostationary satellites from GTO to GEO should be inserted into a disposal orbit at least 300 km above the geostationary orbit and freed of residual propellant. Since the above measures will not be sufficient to avoid an acceptable growth of the debris population, more effective measures will be required, such as deorbiting from LEO of spacecraft and upper stages at completion of their mission.

Space-Based Disaster Management: the Need for International Cooperation (SG 5.07)

Space-Based Disaster Management: the Need for International Cooperation, Published 2010, 79 pages.

The report briefly describes the significant role played by space technology vis-à-vis major natural disasters, overall shortcomings in the presently available space observations and in early warning/forecasting methods. Further it gives an account of various international initiatives which are providing space-based information and services for monitoring and mitigating different natural disasters. Possible satellite constellations carrying both optical and microwave sensors capable of providing data at frequent intervals as well as those providing measurements required as precursors for earthquakes are indicated. The study makes various recommendations related to virtual satellite constellations, data sharing policy, access to in-situ observations across geographical boundaries, strengthening collaborative efforts in developing early warning methods, augmenting communication networks for ensuring availability of data and value-added products in near real-time and necessary efforts required for capacity building and outreach activities.

Future Human Spaceflight: the Need for International Cooperation (SG 5.08)

Future Human Spaceflight: the Need for International Cooperation, Published 2010, 62 pages.

This report, written by an international team, is an end-to-end assessment of the Human Spaceflight issues starting from the basic exploration questions, and ending with possible international cooperation implementation schemes. This Study provides concrete proposals on how to move beyond the International Space Station program and to make Human Spaceflight part of a broader international agenda. The ultimate objective of space exploration is to extend human presence across the Solar System and create communities beyond the Earth. The long-term sustainability of worldwide space exploration programs will benefit from the participation and support of a broader community outside of the current space industry and the inclusion of the public. The involvement of existing, emerging, and developing space nations in such endeavors will both strengthen existing partnerships and foster new ones.

Space Debris Mitigation: Implementing Zero Debris Creation Zones (SG 5.1)

Space Debris Mitigation: Implementing Zero Debris Creation Zones, October 2005, Paris, France, 61 pages.

For several decades, orbital debris has been identified as a serious concern! This orbital debris potentially threatens future space missions, mainly in Low Earth Orbits and in Geostationary Earth Orbit, due to the risk of high energy collisions with valuable spacecraft. A complete presentation of the topic has been published with the year 2000 revision of the IAA Position Paper on Orbital Debris 1. There are only very limited ways to improve the risks or effects of collisions: • Removal of large potential colliders does not seem practically feasible today • Collision avoidance is possible only with large catalogued debris • Shielding of critical spacecraft is possible up to a low energy limit only: debris larger than 1 or 2 cm impacting an active spacecraft may have very deadly effect • Mitigation is by far the most efficient strategy: limiting the number of orbital debris in the critical orbital zones is the most efficient strategy for long term stability of the orbital population. The study covered both the spacecraft and the launchers topics. Major recommendations are: • There shall be no generation of operational debris. • There shall be no risk of explosion following end of mission: any spacecraft or upper stage left in orbit shall be “passivated” • Two orbital regions shall be protected: Low Earth Region up to 2000 km and Geostationary Earth Orbit. Clear motto as a long term strategy: no orbital debris creation within these two protected regions. May be replaced in the coming decade by no long lived orbital debris creation within the two protected regions.

Space Traffic Management – Towards a Roadmap for Implementation (SG 5.15)

Space Traffic Management – Towards a Roadmap for Implementation, Published in June 2018, 156 pages.

This study revisits the topic of Space Traffic Management (STM) with the purpose of providing an updated inter-disciplinary context and of supporting decision-making in the global community. In 2006, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) took on the task of conducting a first study on STM (the “Cosmic Study”), then kick-starting a process of discussion of STM as a means to effectively deal with the increasing challenges space actors face. More than a decade later, this new study draws from the extensive academic work and policy-making activities carried out since the “Cosmic Study”. Its purpose is to revisit and adjust the concept of STM to current advancements in space activities as well as to geopolitical developments. In addition to presenting a more coherent and robust concept of STM, the study discusses the potential of STM to influence or shape the evolution of the legal and regulatory framework for space activities.

IAA Situation Report on Space Debris – 2016 (SG 5.14)

IAA Situation Report on Space Debris – 2016, published in August 2017, 169 pages.

This fifth report on orbital debris sponsored by the IAA is being issued at a time when so many aspects of the space environment are changing. There are an increasing number of countries operating in space; a more diverse suite of satellites and launchers and an influx of commercial investment into current and future space operations. Unfortunately, in addition to the enhanced benefits that these systems provide mankind, there is also more orbital debris threatening the new activities in space. This situation report has been written to provide a comprehensive, yet concise, coverage for the nontechnical reader of the many dimensions of orbital debris. As a result of the complex measurements and modeling across a diverse range of topics, the most up to date information is systematically provided across the “Situation Report”. This fact highlights the multi-disciplinary, international dimensions of the community collaborating to identify, characterize, and manage risks posed by orbital debris. It is also critical to understand that this “Situation Report” format was specifically selected to avoid having to make recommendations for research or action. This report primarily provides a snapshot of the important dimensions of space debris upon which mission- and country-specific recommendations may be based. To access the report, please visit the Space Debris Committee webpage.

Global Perspectives on Regional Cooperation in Space: Policies, Governance & Legal Tools (SG 5.11)

Global Perspectives on Regional Cooperation in Space: Policies, Governance & Legal Tools, published in March 2017, 269 pages.

This IAA Cosmic Study focuses on four geographic regions: the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The majority of the contributions emphasizes the present status of regional cooperation, and makes recommendations for enhanced collaboration as well as areas for future study and collaboration.

Protecting the Environment of Celestial Bodies: The Need for Policy and Guidelines (SG 5.6)

Protecting the Environment of Celestial Bodies: The Need for Policy and Guidelines, published in 2011, 81 pages.

This IAA Study on Protecting the Environment of Celestial Bodies (PECB) aims to provide an overview of existing methods of planetary protection and their feasibility from the perspective of biological, chemical, legal, economic and other viewpoints. By doing so, the Study goes deliberately beyond the interpretation of “Planetary Protection” by COSPAR (Committee on Space Research), which is generally used as a set of methods for protecting the planets from biological contamination to avoid compromising future astrobiological research. In view of limits on the size of this volume, the Study concentrates mainly on the Moon and Mars environments. It is fully recognized, however, that the environments of other celestial bodies, including asteroids that may be visited by manned spacecraft before a mission to Mars, are also worthy of consideration.

Space Debris Environment Remediation (SG 5.5)

Space Debris Environment Remediation, published in 2013, 85 pages.

The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) has been investigating the status and the stability of the space debris environment in several studies by first looking into space traffic management possibilities, and then investigating means of mitigating the creation of space debris. The present report, with a focus on removal concepts and technical options for debris environment remediation, is intended to pave the way for a follow-on IAA study on “Orbital Debris Removal: Policy, Legal, Political and Economic Considerations”. That study addresses in more detail the feasibility of technical, operational, legal and economical solution approaches.

Space to Promote Peace (with focus on reconstruction of Afghanistan) (SG 5.4)

Space to Promote Peace (with focus on reconstruction of Afghanistan), September 2004, Paris, France, 119 pages.

Can Space technology promote peace and development in the world? Can Space technology contribute to meet efficiently such a challenge and aid the Afghan and the international efforts of reconstruction in Afghanistan? Can Space- based tools make a difference? These are questions that nations having space-capabilities have to answer and make a combined effort to pitch in support of promoting peace and bring in an improvement in the quality of life of these people. Intuitively, countries with access to space assets know that space-based applications can have the potential to enhance life on Earth, including contributions to environmental monitoring, natural resource management, health, and therefore to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life in these countries. However, they know that the capabilities of space technology are still not used in a huge part of the world where they could be extremely useful, particularly in Afghanistan: The challenge is implementation.

Space Traffic Management (SG 5.3)

Space Traffic Management, September 2005, Paris, France, 104 pages.

At first glance, the management of space traffic does not appear to be a pressing problem. On closer examination, this judgement has to be challenged. A high level and ever growing number of launches from more and more launch sites and spaceports, the participation of non-governmental entities, the positioning of satellite constellations, an increase in space debris and the advent of reusable launch vehicles support this view. Conceptualizing space traffic management will turn out to become a relevant task during the next two decades. Space traffic management however, will limit the freedom of use of outer space. Therefore an international consensus on internationally binding regulations will only be achieved, if States identify certain urgency and expect a specific as well as collective benefit – including an economic benefit – from this. The study addresses or directs decision makers in UNCOPUOS, ITU and ICAO to approach specific problems, organizations which are building blocks for a future space traffic management regime.

Orbital Debris Removal: Policy, Political, Legal & Economic Considerations (SG 5.10)

Orbital Debris Removal: Policy, Political, Legal & Economic Considerations, September 2022, 120 pages.

The yearly growth of debris in Earth orbit poses an increasing risk to safe and secure operation of spacecraft, especially in low Earth orbit (LEO). It is becoming increasingly clear that mitigation measures will not be enough to ensure a sustainable future for space operations. In fact, debris experts predict that in time, it will be necessary to remove some debris from orbit.

IAA Cosmic Studies - Space & Society, Culture & Education

The Impact of Space Activities upon Society (SG 6.6)

The Impact of Space Activities upon Society, February 2005, Paris, France, 70 pages.

As the 21st century gets further underway, the impact of space activities upon the welfare of humanity will only increase. We can imagine that during the 21st century the human expansion and insight into the cosmos will produce some of the more significant events of this new century. In addition to the enormous knowledge that space exploration has already delivered, space technologies have become integrated into everyday life so deeply that modern society could not function without them. The Academy helped to formulate the future through recognition of the positive impacts of space activities upon society. The Academy has created a book which gives personal insights from world leaders, scientists, recognized authorities and influential personalities as well as space experts in response to the following statement: “I believe that space activities are impacting society through……” The intention is to illustrate that space activities have a positive and beneficial impact on everyday life and society and thus help people to understand that everyone benefits. We are only 50 years into the next expansion of the human spirit. What we find and where we go will impact society in manners unforeseen. With this book, we record the start.

The Architecture of Space: Tools for Development in the 21st Century (SG 6.9)

The Architecture of Space: Tools for Development in the 21st Century, published in 2013, 32 pages.

The purpose of this study was to identify professional disciplines as tools that should collaborate and interact with each other in order to achieve comprehensive and balanced design solutions that would satisfy human needs during space flight and might be applied to diverse space missions. The study attempted to demonstrate importance of addressing all types of human activities at earlier stages of space structures design rather than adapting existing engineering solutions to various human needs and incorporating them into final design product. That is especially important for planning long-term missions to farther destinations than Low Earth Orbit practices with demographically, culturally and professionally diverse habitants onboard of spacecrafts. There are no “small” issues in designing facilities for dangerous and extremely expensive missions to Moon, Mars, asteroids and other destinations. That applies to technical and human sides of design equally.

Space Expectations: Shaping the Next Fifty Years (SG 6.8)

Space Expectations: Shaping the Next Fifty Years, published in 2013, 23 pages.

The purposes of the International Academy of Astronautics are to foster the development of astronautics for peaceful purposes, to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves in a branch of science or technology related to astronautics, to provide a program through which the membership can contribute to international endeavors and partnerships in the advancement of aerospace science, while in cooperation with national science or engineering academies. This report is a reflection of those goals as it summarizes two studies that positively involved the general public with the space community (“Space Impact upon Society” and “Space Expectations”).

Spacearts – The Space Art Database (SG 6.5)

Spacearts – The Space Art Database

Spacearts is an online database providing information about art related to outer space since the middle of the 19th century until the present. In the past century a new and highly diverse genre of art has emerged – Space Art. Artists have been at the forefront of space exploration since its very beginning. Their works of imagination have stimulated and catalyzed a new human endeavor. Works of art and literature about space have both anticipated and stimulated space development while exploring destinations and technological concepts that were often too dangerous, too distant or too advanced for the science and technology of the moment. The goal of “Spacearts – the Space Art Database” is to document this important and exciting art form and to make it be publicly accessible. To access the database click here: (Spacearts – The Space Art Database)

IAC History Symposia 1967 – 2000 (SG 6.4)

IAC History Symposia 1967 – 2000, August 2004, Paris, France, 414 pages

With the advent of the new millennium, it is timely summarize the different works presented at the “History of Astronautics IAA Symposia” held since 1967 at International Astronautical Congresses sponsored by the International Academy of Astronautics. The first IAA Symposium dedicated to the History of Rockets and Rocketry was held at Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1967. From the first History Session, which was chaired by Eugen Emme(USA), to the one held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2000, 458 papers were registered. During the same period, many subjects were covered by authors from all around the world. The purpose of this work is to highlight history of rocketry and spaceflight.