Last Published:  07/31/19 10:05:30 AM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Factors and Behavioral Performance (HFBP)
Status: Open
a) Initial state

This gap is about training teams or individuals to live or work with teams in ICE environments. In general, research shows that training teams in teamwork skills and to work as a unified team before, during, and after projects/ missions significantly reduces team performance errors and increases team safety and team member health (accounting for as much as 50% of the outcomes).  However, the correct content areas (or specific team skills), methods, and training sequences must be identified, tailored, and implemented  according to a team’s specific operational context to ensure these results.  Very little quantitative evidence exists to advise NASA on how to best train teamwork and team skills to astronauts in an autonomous long duration exploration context (i.e., 6-12 months, >12 months).  Further, existing crews for the ISS have continually expressed concern about not getting enough chances to learn to work together as a team prior to flight, despite training requirements generally taking up 90% of astronauts’ time over the course of their flight careers.  Additionally, training is a large expense to NASA in preparing humans for long duration spaceflight; therefore, any evidence that will help make training more effective and efficient will help to reduce fiscal cost to the organization, as well as reduce behavioral health and performance risks. It is important to note that under this gap, training refers to hard and soft skills. Both psychologically effective technical training and psychological training are necessary for a team’s/crew’s task performance and interpersonal performance.

b) Target for Closure

A set of validated team training content areas, methods, and sequence.  Validated means criterion-related, demonstrating that the predictor variable (i.e., the training method, content and sequence) impacts the outcome (i.e., results in a significant reduction of performance errors, safety incidents or threats, and reports of interpersonal tension or conflict among teams who have been trained in these content areas, with these methods, in this sequence; or results in a significant increase in performance proficiencies, team productivity, and greater cohesion).

c) Metrics for interim progress

(1) Conduct an in-house training needs analysis to identify teamwork challenges crews most commonly encounter and what specific teamwork skills are most needed for long duration spaceflight (10%); (2) Use results of the needs analysis to explicitly define the training content areas and methods that NASA most wants and needs to prepare astronauts for long duration spaceflight (10%); (3) Solicit studies (NRA, SBIRs) to investigate and test training methods and content areas (studies should show quantitatively how well their tested content, methods, and sequence of training supports team health and performance (25%); (4) Select and supervise ground analog studies delivering validated training content, methods, and/or sequences for training astronauts for autonomous, long duration exploration missions (25%); (5) Compile report summarizing all the validated tools for teamwork training and present to operational psychologists, long duration instructors, and instructional design leads for review (10%); (6) Identify any new gaps that must be resolved before a validated team training program can be applied for autonomous, long duration exploration crews (10%); (7) Provide training protocols to operations (5%);  (8) inform training requirements and standards for crewmember training (5%).

d) Approach

The conclusions/results from tasks will determine the metrics used to quantify the completion of the gap. Essentially, to close this gap, we will identify and develop a team training “toolbox” which will encompass the necessary validated set of team training content areas, methods and sequence. As mentioned above, the needs analysis will inform the content areas and methods that operations will need to focus on primarily to prepare astronaut crews (teams) for long duration missions. Once validated methods and measures are identified the toolbox can be established; which will lead to gap closure. This gap will take approximately 7-12 years to close (dependent on information obtain in pursuit of prior gaps).

Target for Closure
No Target for Closure available.
Risk Risk of Performance and Behavioral Health Decrements Due to Inadequate Cooperation, Coordination, Communication, and Psychosocial Adaptation within a Team
You are here! Gap Team Gap 5: We need to identify validated ground-based training methods that can be both preparatory and continuing to maintain team function in autonomous, long duration, and/or distance exploration missions.

No Documentation Available