Gap BMed-101: We need to identify, quantify, and validate the key selection factors for astronaut cognitive and behavioral strengths (e.g., resiliency) and operationally-relevant performance threats for increasingly Earth independent, long-duration, autonomous, and/or long-distance exploration missions.
Last Published:  07/30/20 02:45:13 PM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Factors and Behavioral Performance (HFBP)
Status: Open
Description
This Gap seeks to characterize and quantify the key threats and promoters to individual behavioral health and performance before, during, and after spaceflight missions that are over six months and/or beyond lower Earth orbit. Past and current ISS spaceflight missions of up to 6-months, show that ISS crewmembers have largely met mission objectives. However, future missions will involve far greater crew autonomy, isolation, and up to five times the current mission duration which will demand much more from the individual crewmembers. Mission success will depend on individual resilience of crewmembers and crew cohesion. To date, several studies have shown that individuals who demonstrate superior performance and higher levels of coping under conditions of isolation and confinement share certain characteristics that differentiate them from those who do not. Superior performance has consistently been linked to a personality profile characterized by a combination of high levels of positive instrumentality and expressivity along with lower levels of interpersonal aggressiveness and neuroticism. A complete understanding of the individual predictors for successful adaptation and performance in an isolated, confined, and extreme environment is necessary to determine which measures to utilize in selection. Behavioral measures that will most effectively select individuals with the characteristics necessary that predict successful adaptation and performances in isolated, confined, and extreme environments, especially during long-duration missions need to be identified. While there have been numerous long-duration studies implemented in analog isolated and confined environments (e.g. Antarctica) similar to planned exploration environments, much of these research results have not been systematically collected, lack scientific rigor, and/or are anecdotal. Only recently has research included more objective measures, but these have not consistently used standardized exploration measures through which conclusive statements can be drawn (e.g., consistent set of measures across studies designed for the population or environment). Additionally, there is tremendous variability across analogs in terms of their crew composition, language and culture, crew size, habitat layout, degree of confinement and separation, etc. As a result, this gap aims to determine the key selection factors and major contributing factors to cognitive and behavioral health and performance over different durations that correspond to future autonomous exploration missions.
Approach: HFBP will direct and solicit studies to identify and experimentally validate behavioral measures for selecting resilient individuals for exploration class missions. The results from these tasks will determine the most effective selection measures for exploration class missions.
Target for Closure
(1) We will begin with examining what is known relative to stressors, threats, and promoters over various duration ICE environments.
(2) Identified set of individual characteristics predicting successful adaptation and performance on future exploration missions.
(3) Identified set of standardized measures for selection of individuals to characterize and quantify successful behavioral adaptation and functioning in different long-duration analogs.
(4) Use SMEs and factor analyses (when feasible) to finalize the set of selection measures based on threats and promoters, derive Earth baselines, and assess feasibility, acceptability, and validity of exploration behavioral measures.
(5) Verified and validated set of Exploration selection measures in ground-based analogs with astronaut-like subjects and inflight.
(6) The knowledge gained through this gap will inform subsequent efforts to develop monitoring methods and countermeasures.
Mappings
Risk Risk of Adverse Cognitive or Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
You are here! Gap BMed-101: We need to identify, quantify, and validate the key selection factors for astronaut cognitive and behavioral strengths (e.g., resiliency) and operationally-relevant performance threats for increasingly Earth independent, long-duration, autonomous, and/or long-distance exploration missions.
Active
Completed
Planned-Funded
Planned-Unfunded

Documentation:
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