The International Space Station Probabilistic Risk Assessment Fire Analysis, Sensitivity Studies for Critical Variables, and Necessary Areas of Additional Development

  • Addison Heard
  • Roberto Vitali
Conference paper


The International Space Station (ISS) (see Figure 1 below) is a vehicle designed for two purposes: first to conduct microgravity research and second it is an ongoing experiment of long term spaceflight. Within the second issue there are many aspects that must be considered including what is necessary to keep operations running smoothly, what is required to insure the safety of the crew, and what are the potential dangers of long term spaceflight to the vehicle and crew? One method of comparing the various options, risks, and dangers for the Station is a Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA). Between 1999 and 2003 Futron Corporation developed an ISS PRA [i] that evaluated four primary concern areas: 1.) risks to the Station’s survival, 2.) risks to the crew, 3.) risks to the Station’s systems, and 4.) risks to the Station’s operations. As a part of this analysis ‘Energetics and Hazards’ were evaluated for their contribution to the overall risk. Among those areas included were Micro-Meteoroids and Orbital Debris (MMOD), solar flares and deep space radiation events, toxic spills and leaks, and (the topic of this paper) fires and explosions. Each of these events was evaluated for their impact on the four primary concern areas listed above.


Sensitivity Study International Space Station Pool Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment Fire Propagation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Addison Heard
    • 1
  • Roberto Vitali
    • 2
  1. 1.ARES CorporationArlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Futron CorporationBethesdaUSA

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