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Assessment of Operator Proficiency Following Long-Duration Spaceflight (Manual_Control)
Principal Investigators
Research Area:
Biomedical countermeasures
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Evidence from shuttle landings suggests that performance of astronaut pilots is degraded after microgravity exposure. The underlying mechanism is unclear, but a major contributing factor is likely central adaptation to the relative absence of gravity on orbit, thought to be responsible for a range of sensorimotor deficits (postural, locomotor, oculomotor, and perception of motion) observed in astronauts post-landing. Long-term exposure to microgravity has the potential to negatively impact the ability of crewmembers to navigate and land spacecraft and perform post-landing surface operations. Based on previous research on head-eye coordination during simulated shuttle landings and automobile control, a battery of tests was performed pre- and postflight on International Space Station (ISS) crewmembers that target physiological mechanisms potentially underlying postflight deficiencies in manual control. Sensorimotor tests target fatigue, reaction time, manual tracking, manual dexterity, dual tasking, spatial memory, and motion perception. The results from these test batteries were correlated with astronaut performance on 3 operationally-relevant simulator tasks: control of an automobile, landing a T-38 jet, and operating a Mars rover.

The rover simulation study titled, “Effect of Sensorimotor Adaptation Following Long-Duration Spaceflight on Perception and Control of Vehicular Motion” with Dr. Scott Wood as the PI was incorporated into this study.

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Reaction time
Task performance and analysis
Motion perception

Photo Gallery
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
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Distance from runway threshold
Docking alignment error
Docking alignment time
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 33 09/16/2012 11/18/2012 63 days
Expedition 34 11/18/2012 03/15/2013 117 days
Expedition 35 03/15/2013 05/13/2013 58 days
Expedition 36 05/13/2013 09/10/2013 166 days
Expedition 37 09/10/2013 11/10/2013 61 days
Expedition 38 11/10/2013 03/10/2014 120 days
Expedition 39 03/10/2014 05/13/2014 64 days
Expedition 40 05/13/2014 09/10/2014 133 days
Expedition 41 09/10/2014 11/09/2014 29 days
Expedition 42 11/10/2014 03/11/2015 121 days
Expedition 43 03/11/2015 06/10/2015 91 days

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

The Human Research Roadmap is located at:

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Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Jessica Keune
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2008 Crew Health NNJ08ZSA