Multiple tools play a role in assessing habitability based on human performance data. Software-based tools provide crewmembers with the opportunity to self-report habitability and human factors observations near real-time. In addition to this capability, software-based tools have the capability to administer a targeted set of questions related to habitability and human factors concerns deemed specifically to be of interest. The targeted use of video provided crewmembers with the opportunity to provide insight into human factors and habitability observations within a habitat or vehicle, with associated training, scheduling, and flow of information to maximize the impact of these videos.
Another major component of this study was the evaluation of space utilization assessment methods. This effort resulted in tools to aid in the design of the next generation of vehicles and habitats. In order to most effectively design layouts of interiors, it is important for designers to understand how space is utilized. This includes details such as the time crewmembers spend at workstations and traffic patterns between workstations. This study examined potential benefits of using automated methods to collect such data.
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During NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 16, four crewmembers used the iPad-based Space Habitability Observation Reporting Tool (iSHORT) daily throughout the 12-day mission, reporting observations ranging from glitches in scheduling software and communications difficulties to concerns about bathroom operations. The iSHORT is an application that allows users to use text, photographs, video, and audio recordings to document positive or negative observations about their environment near real-time. Reports are immediately emailed to the test director and saved locally on the iPad.In addition to providing a database of observations to analyze, there was an opportunity to elicit subjective feedback from the crewmembers. Crewmembers documented their impressions of iSHORT using end-of-mission electronic questionnaires, during post-mission one-on-one debrief, and in some cases elected to use iSHORT itself to document their praises and criticisms during the mission.
The major accomplishment of this study was successful testing of the iSHORT during NEEMO 16. Testing began during NEEMO 15 but was cut short when inclement weather caused an early termination of the mission. In the interim months, updates to iSHORT were made and test plans were modified based on lessons learned. Overall, iSHORT was highly accepted, and the resulting observations were considered to demonstrate high potential for the tool in an operational setting. The success of iSHORT during the mission led to a plan to assess the feasibility of transitioning iSHORT to operations for the International Space Station (ISS).
In addition to iSHORT, NEEMO 16 crewmembers also provided video clips targeting human factors and habitability issues using a head-worn camera and a standard iPad camera, which enabled the assessment of these strategies for future use. These methods will require further development prior to implementation in an operational environment, but the lessons learned will feed into this process and may also shed light on alternate approaches to collecting this type of data.
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.