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Risk of Adverse Cognitive or Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders


astronaut conducts the simulated robotic capture of a cargo craft
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti conducts the simulated robotic capture of a cargo craft, part of Behavioral Core Measures. This investigation measures a crew member’s ability to perform robotic activities in microgravity, which could inform design of future spacecraft and space habitat.

Exposure to the isolation and confinement of spaceflight can result in decrements in cognitive and behavioral functioning. While cognitive or behavioral conditions may not immediately or directly threaten total mission success, such conditions adversely impact individual and crew health, well-being, and performance, negatively impacting mission objectives. The rigorous astronaut selection and training processes and the robust set of behavioral health and performance countermeasures on ISS have mainly been successful in mitigating this risk. However, exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit will have constrained resources limiting implementation of these validated countermeasures. Feasible and acceptable countermeasures for exploration class missions have not yet been developed and validated, increasing risk for these future missions.

astronaut participating in the GRIP experiment
NASA astronaut and Expedition 67 Flight Engineer Bob Hines is seated inside the Columbus laboratory module participating in the GRIP experiment. The investigation explores how astronauts grip and maneuver a specialized device in response to pre-programmed stimuli so scientists can gain insights into a crew member’s cognition and perception during spaceflight.

Directed Acyclic Graph Files

+ DAG File Information (HSRB Home Page)

+ Behavioral Med Risk DAG and Narrative (PDF)

+ Behavioral Med Risk DAG Code (TXT)

Human Research Program

+ Risk of Adverse Cognitive or Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders

Multiple Evidence Reports are available for this Risk. Please see the relevant section on the Human Research Roadmap Evidence page for all of the Evidence Reports.

NASA Standards Technical Briefs

+ Behavioral Health and Performance (PDF)

+ Behavioral Health Mishaps (PDF)

+ Cognitive Workload (PDF)

+ Usability, Workload, Error (PDF)



Last Updated
Sep 27, 2023
Robert E. Lewis