Last Published:  03/26/21 03:33:57 PM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Health Countermeasures (HHC)
Status: Open
Based on data mining efforts from short-duration Shuttle missions, there is greater variability in landing performance following space-flight than observed during the last Shuttle Training Aircraft flights. There were also several Shuttle landings that exceeded desired parameters (e.g., vertical velocity at touchdown greater than 3.5 fps). Although the ability to observe piloting opportunities during longer duration spaceflight have been limited, a collision of the unmanned Progress with the Mir space station may reflect additional risks with prolonged spaceflight. Research studies have demonstrated post-flight decrements in manual control tasks including simulating driving, flying and dual-task tracking.

Research approach: The risk needs to be characterized relative to the following critical mission tasks: hand-eye coordination, robotic tasks, driving (e.g., rovers), docking, landing, manipulating controls/switches/touch-screens, etc.. Standardizing data collection across HRP Elements and cross-cutting projects will result in evidence-based standards that account for multiple contributing factors (e.g., changes in muscle strength, orthostatic intolerance and CNS due to radiation). Research should capture immediate post-flight decrements and temporal recovery on mission relevant functional tasks, including the effects of mission duration. Research is also needed to address how partial gravity environments will impact risk, either by reducing the magnitude of the G-transition, or directly impacting performance through changes in physiologic demands (e.g., changes in thresholds). Physiological models should be developed to anticipate the spatial disorientation of partial gravity environments with different design reference missions.
Target for Closure
Define the magnitude of change and time course of recovery, and how these impact critical mission tasks (e.g., define the risk for asking crew to pilot a rover following landing). Define how the risk (likelihood and severity) varies as a function of microgravity transit time, magnitude of G transition, and other contributing factors (prior experience, biomarkers, space radiation). Results/deliverables: Understanding effects of spaceflight on manual control.
Risk Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft/Associated Systems and Decreased Mobility Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Spaceflight
You are here! Gap SM-102: Characterize the effects of short and long-duration weightlessness, with and without deep-space radiation, on manual control (fine motor control) after G transitions.

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