A Multi-faceted Approach to Examine Team Adaptation and Resilience within Isolated, Confined, and Extreme Environments (NNX16AM17G)
Long-duration exploration mission (LDEM) crews will work and live together in an isolated, confined, extreme (ICE) environment for a period of up to 30 months. Physical and psychological stressors are inherent in such a mission, triggered by living in a small habitat, in continual close proximity to others, separated from family and friends, while carrying out a dangerous mission with a high workload, and doing so without real- time support from mission control. In addition to on-going, low-grade chronic stressors, a crew on a LDEM is likely to experience several unanticipated acute stressors, including perhaps one or more emergencies. Therefore, a successful LDEM crew will need to self-adapt as a mission progresses, working through and recovering from various challenges, and sustaining their resilience.
Each LDEM crewmember will need to adapt and maintain personal resilience. But, equally important, the crew will also need to adapt and sustain their resilience as a team. Researchers have traditionally examined adaptation and resilience from an individual perspective, but to ensure that LDEM crews are ready for the challenges they will face, there is a need to better understand how adaption and resilience operate at the team level. Doing so will allow for the development of validated countermeasures that can be deployed prior to and at appropriate times during a mission, increasing a LDEM crew’s ability to handle the stressors associated with ICE environments and enabling them to adjust when unexpected challenges emerge. This study addresses both the
fundamental need to learn ore about team adaptation and resilience, as well as the need to develop and test potential countermeasures.
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Investigators will look at data that was previously collected during NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) missions. They will index the nature of different episodic events, the teams confronted, and associate them with members’ adaptation and resilience by using computer aided text analysis (CATA) of members’ communications. The investigator team has developed a CATA scoring mechanisms for multiple dimensions of team processes and resilience which will yield multi-dimensional networks per event. They will also explore the construct validity of the data yielded by the sociometric badges as a potential alternative or complementary source of network data.
After reviewing the archived HERA data, investigators will gather data from 36 to 45 Saturation Dive Teams (SAT) over two to three years from three organizations, each with their own organizational culture. Each crew’s 28-day mission runs in parallel with two other crews who are also diving in rotating 8-hour shifts. The three crews work on the same mission, but do not dive or live together simultaneously - each crew lives in their own separate and isolated hyperbaric chamber. Approximately half of the SAT teams will receive one or more countermeasure(s) and half will serve as controls for testing the efficacy of
Upon completion of the archival study and partial completion of the SAT team research study, investigators will move their research to an analog setting such as NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) or HERA to test the usability of the countermeasures identified in the archived data and SAT
This experiment is in progress. Results will be available at a later date.
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: https://humanresearchroadmap.nasa.gov/
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for information of how this experiment is contributing to the HRP's path for risk reduction.