The experiment tested the hypothesis that the analogous conditions could provide an acceptable model for space craft (i.e., to validate or refute the results of the previous study). Specifically, the study was designed to 1)evaluate how isolation and confinement on long duration space missions can affect crew health and morale, which are important factors that can influence mission success, 2) convert behavioral and human factors data contained in journal entries into quantitative data on the importance of the various behavioral issues involved in long-duration isolation and confinement, and 3) systematically analyze the content of astronaut journals in order to enhance the design of procedures and equipment to support human performance during exploration of the moon and Mars.
(2011 - forward): The original study period of the Journals experiment (2003-2010) tested the hypothesis that the analog conditions provided an acceptable model for space operations. Substantial support for the hypothesis was found, but ISS crew size has increased since then. The Journals experiment is being continued to collect data from members of larger crews to determine if there are differences in behavioral issues that could be attributed to crew size.
The objective of the study extension is to obtain behavioral and human factors data relevant to the design of equipment and procedures to support adjustment and sustained human performance during extended duration isolation and confinement.
For the continuation of the experiment with 10 additional subjects, the specific objectives of the proposed study are to 1) collect data concerning the relevant behavioral factors from 10 additional astronauts while serving as members of 6-person crews onboard the ISS; 2) compare the experiences reported by members of larger crews to those of the two and three-person crews who participated in the original journals study; 3) assess the effects of other changes that have been implemented since the journals study concluded (e.g., cupola, sleep chambers, procedures); 4) further test the third quarter phenomenon; and 5) provide a safe and constructive outlet for the frustration and irritation that usually accompany isolated and confined living. The ultimate objective of the study is to provide data-driven recommendations to inform decisions concerning the priorities that should be placed on the various behavioral issues to prepare for and manage future space expeditions. Study results can be applied to improve selection, training, support, scheduling, and the design of equipment and procedures.
(2003 - 2010): Personal journals that were provided by ten subjects during ISS expeditions were analyzed to obtain information concerning a wide range of behavioral and human factors issues. Astronauts wrote most about their work, followed by outside communications (with mission control, family and friends), adjustment to the conditions, interactions with crew mates, recreation/leisure, equipment (installation, maintenance), events (launches, docking, hurricanes, etc.), organization/management, sleep, and food.
The results were presented in a final report that was published in July 2010 by NASA as NASA/TM-2010-216130. The study found evidence of a decline in morale during the third quarters of the missions and identified key factors that contribute to sustained adjustment and optimal performance during long-duration space expeditions. Astronauts reported that they benefited personally from writing in their journals because it helped maintain perspective on their work and relations with others. Responses to questions asked before, during, and after the expeditions show that living and working onboard the ISS is not as difficult as the astronauts anticipated before starting their six-month tours of duty. Recommendations included application of study results and continuation of the experiment to obtain additional data as crew size increases and operations evolve. Astronauts have reported that participating in the Journals Experiment has helped them adapt to the isolation, confinement, and other special conditions of the ISS.
(2011 - forward): At the conclusion of the experiment, results will be posted when data becomes available.
|Mission||Launch/Start Date||Landing/End Date||Duration|
|Expedition 10||10/13/2004||04/24/2005||193 days|
|Expedition 11||04/14/2005||10/10/2005||179 days|
|Expedition 12||09/30/2005||04/30/2006||180 days|
|Expedition 13||03/22/2006||09/24/2006||186 days|
|Expedition 14||09/18/2006||04/21/2007||215 days|
|Expedition 15||04/07/2007||10/21/2007||197 days|
|Expedition 16||10/10/2007||04/19/2008||192 days|
|Expedition 17||04/08/2008||10/23/2008||198 days|
|Expedition 18||10/12/2008||04/17/2009||187 days|
|Expedition 29||09/16/2011||11/21/2011||40 days|
|Expedition 30||11/14/2011||04/27/2012||166 days|
|Expedition 31||04/27/2012||07/01/2012||65 days|
|Expedition 32||07/01/2012||09/16/2012||78 days|
|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 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|
|Expedition 44||06/10/2015||09/11/2015||93 days|
|Expedition 45||09/11/2015||12/11/2015||91 days|
|Expedition 46||12/11/2015||03/02/2016||82 days|
|Expedition 8||10/18/2003||04/29/2004||195 days|
|Expedition 9||04/18/2004||10/23/2004||188 days|