How can equipment, spacecraft design, tools, procedures, and even nutrition be used to improve the health, safety, and efficiency of crewmembers? Can variables such as work scheduling, sleep cycles, leisure time, and communication be modified to improve team performance in the space environment?
These are the kinds of questions addressed by researchers in the Human Factors and Habitability program. Taking into consideration the unique challenges posed by the space environment, HRP scientists and engineers, along with other experts, focus on refining every aspect of a crew member's equipment, gear, food, and interior environments in order to improve safety and maximize performance.
As future missions take crewmembers deeper into space and require longer stays in the space environment, the HRP's human factors and habitability research will move towards addressing the challenges of long-term space travel and habitation. Future space missions are likely to uncover many new issues and areas of study for HRP researchers and engineers.