List of Offworld Medical Risks

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This is a list of articles covering dangers to our people and mission.

The lists of hazards and categories below is similar to those used by NASA and the DOD in Systems Safety Analysis.

This field can be difficult and confusing, and it helps to have some clear definitions.


  • Mishap: an unintended condition or event which can result in illness, death, partial or total disability, and/or injury. An accident is an example of a mishap, so are infections, or chronic exposure to toxic agents.
  • Hazard: the finite possibility (non-zero probability) of a Mishap
  • Risk: there are a couple of different definitions of risk. A colloquial definition is the probability of a hazard, which is not quite the same thing as a hazard by itself
  • Risk level: in NASA/military parlance, a "risk Level" is a combination of the Severity of a mishap/hazard, combined with the Probability of mishap/hazard.

Typical usage of "Risk Level" can be as follows:

Severity Probability Comment
High High Unacceptable or emergency situation needing immediate attention
Low High Perhaps acceptable to deal with via precautions, e.g. protective equipment and training
High Low Extensive verifiable Hazard controls required
Low Low Probably acceptable, might not need special precautions

  • Hazard Cause: There can be confusion between a hazard versus a hazard cause. For simplicity, it can be useful to consider a hazard as a final condition or undesirable event. A hazard cause is a precursor condition or triggering event which could result in a hazard. For example, electrical or mechanical component failures are hazard causes which can result in hazards such as collision or explosion.
  • Hazard Control: a product feature, or procedural step, which tends to prevent a hazard. Such as an arming switch, or structural margin of safety.

Psychological/Human Factors


Zero or Low Gravity

Physical Environments

Medical Treatment




Temperature Extremes

Non-Ionizing Radiation

Ionizing Radiation

Lack of Breathable Atmosphere

Inadequate Food/Water

Improper Pressure