Medical Support for Manned Military Space Missions: A Role for an Existing Medical Service, or a New Approach for the Final Frontier
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
Pagination or Media Count:
Americas success in space and the continuation of escalating military missions in this security domain necessitates a perpetual and potent medical support apparatus both in space and on land. This research sought to answer the question How will medical support for manned military space missions need to be organized, trained and equipped to meet the National Security Strategy objective of advancing space as a security domain The hypothesis was that a dedicated medical support structure specifically for DoD space operations will be necessary. The scenario planning research methodology was used, and four scenarios were compared. The four models included use of the current Air Force Medical Service, current NASA medical support, a hybrid of the two, and an entirely separate medical service. The key findings were that these scenarios are based heavily on how the DoD chooses to organize its space assets. Whether the Space Force, Space Corps, or some other variation of organization is used will drastically change the feasibility of a particular medical support structure. Also, a collaboration with NASA, especially in the early stages of DoD manned space operations, will be essential. Additionally, a sustainable training pipeline is lacking in the DoD for space medicine specialists. Recommendations include developing a training pipeline at USAFSAM in collaboration with the University of Texas Medical Branch, utilizing NASA medical support for early manned DoD missions, including physicians in manned space missions to provide medical support in-mission when possible, and maintaining flexibility and adaptability regarding medical support for space.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Medicine and Medical Research