Habitability Assessment of International Space Station (Habitability) - 08.29.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
For crew members on long-duration space missions, a spacecraft is their only home and work space, so cabin designs must balance comfort and efficiency. The Habitability Assessment of International Space Station (Habitability) investigation, for which data collection is now complete, collects observations about the relationship between crew members and their environment on the International Space Station. Observations during missions lasting at least 6 months, can help spacecraft designers understand general habitability requirements (e.g., volume, layout, stowage), and whether a mission’s duration impacts these requirements.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Sherry Thaxton, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: Habitability

Principal Investigator(s)
Maya R. Greene, Ph.D., KBRwyle, Houston, TX, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Sherry Thaxton, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
Alexandra M. Whitmire, Ph.D., KBRwyle, Houston, TX, United States

Developer(s)
NASA Johnson Space Center, Human Research Program, Houston, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
NASA Research Office - Human Research Program (NASA Research-HRP)

Research Benefits
Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - March 2016; March 2016 - September 2017

Expeditions Assigned
43/44,45/46,47/48,49/50,51/52

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Habitability assesses the relationship between crew members and their environment in order to better prepare for future long-duration spaceflights to destinations, such as Near Earth Asteroids (NEA) and Mars. The ultimate goal is to characterize habitability on the International Space Station (ISS) and make recommendations for future programs and missions.
  • Six subjects document observations related to the relationship between crew members and their environment on the ISS. Each crew member reports observations through an iPad application called iSHORT, which is designed for documenting these types of observations. The iSHORT application allows crew members to record videos of specific tasks, and to perform tours on the ISS for human factors engineers to study. Crewmembers use another iPad application called iQ&A to complete questionnaires about their living and working environment.

Description
The purpose of this study, for which data collection is now complete, is to assess habitability during International Space Station (ISS) missions of at least 6 months duration in order to better prepare for future long-duration spaceflights to destinations such as Near Earth Asteroids (NEA) and Mars, which require crew members to live and work in a confined spacecraft environment for over a year. Specific needs include the collection of human factors and habitability data while on-orbit (near real-time) and analysis of vehicle layout and space utilization. This includes analysis of videos, to assess human factors and habitability concerns on the ISS. The ultimate goal is to characterize habitability on the ISS and examine whether mission duration impacts how the crew responds to their habitat. This research primarily addresses the Human Research Project (HRP) gap concerning tools that can be used to evaluate habitability concepts, and also contributes to risks related to team dynamics, sleep, and behavioral health.

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Applications

Space Applications
Results from the Habitability investigation provide unique insight into the day in the life of an International Space Station crew member. Observations documented through an iPad application help characterize the ways crew members live and work in microgravity, and how their interactions with their environment might require different layouts, additional space, or other alterations to future manned space vehicles.

Earth Applications
Although most workers on Earth have access to fresh air and water, jobs in many industries require long-duration stays in confined spaces in remote locations, including ocean drilling rigs, polar research stations, and mines. Results from the Habitability investigation may also apply to workers who must live and work in confined spaces with limited volume and resources.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

Six subjects were recruited as part of this investigation in order to gather sufficient representative data to assess long-term habitability of humans in space.
 
Crew members watch overview videos explaining how to use the iSHORT application, points of interest regarding habitability and human factors engineering, and the objectives for each of the different ISS Habitability Experiment videos within 24 hours prior to first inflight session.
 
Every 1-2 weeks for the duration of the mission, crew members are to document observations related to human factors and habitability during a Habitability and Human Factors Observations session. Additional reserve sessions may be scheduled between every 2 nominal sessions (i.e., sessions could be scheduled as often as weekly). Additionally, iSHORT may be used more often per crew choice. Orbital Communications Adapter (OCA) Downlink is scheduled no later than 3 business days after data collection.
 
Once a month for the duration of the mission, crew members make videos of a guided tour of the ISS, selecting an area or task to describe to an audience of human factors engineers during a Walk-through video session. Some of the videos are of pre-determined locations while others are per crew discretion or from a candidate list. A minimum of 18 days is required between each session. OCA Downlink is scheduled no later than 3 business days after data collection.
 
Once a month for the duration of the mission, crew members make videos of a task unrelated to this experiment in which they talk aloud through the performance of the task to provide insight to human factors engineers during a Narrated Task video session. Some of the tasks during the mission are pre-determined while others are per crew discretion or from a candidate list. A minimum of 18 days is required between each session. Hardware setup is scheduled immediately before the task/activity being narrated. OCA Downlink is scheduled no later than 3 business days after data collection.
 
Three times during a mission (early, middle and late), crew members are scheduled to complete Habitability and Human Factors Questionnaires.
 
A Post-Questionnaire PI Conference is scheduled 3-8 business days after each Habitability and Human Factors Questionnaire is downlinked (approximately 3 to 11 days after the questionnaire is completed).
 
Prior to the first inflight session, crew members view overview videos explaining how to use the iSHORT application, points of interest regarding habitability and human factors engineering, and the objectives for each of the different ISS Habitability Experiment videos. This provides the crewmember with an understanding of the audience for the videos developed as part of the ISS Habitability Experiment.
 
During each Habitability and Human Factors Observation session (scheduled every 2 weeks with weekly sessions scheduled as time allows), the subjects use the iSHORT application on the flight iPad to document observations. During this time, crew members review their timeline from the last 1-2 weeks, and then report on observations related to Human Factors and Habitability.
 
For each monthly Walk-through video session, subjects use the iPad with iSHORT to provide a guided tour of ISS locations to an audience of human factors engineers.
 
For each monthly Narrated Task video session, subjects use the iPad with iSHORT during a task, and talk to the camera about what they are thinking during the task with respect to the hardware being used and the environment in which the task is being performed. This provides first-hand information about the task to an audience of human factors engineers.
 
During each of the 3 Habitability and Human Factors Questionnaires sessions (early, mid, and late in the mission), crew members are to complete questionnaires related to behavioral health, habitability, and human factors using the iSHORT application.
 
The Post-Questionnaire PI Conference, planned within a few days after completion of the questionnaire session, allows the PI to follow-up on responses to the Habitability and Human Factors Questionnaire and pose additional open-ended questions. Privatized audio and video is required for the PI Conference to enable the crew to provide visual information to the PI during the conference (e.g., demonstration), if they desire.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

CategoryReference
Translation to Space Exploration Systems TSES16

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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Imagery

image Analog crew members of NEEMO 16 used iSHORT to report habitability observations on a daily basis.  
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Screen shot of iSHORT interface used to document a new observation.

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Screen shot of iQ&A interface used to complete questionnaires.

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