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  • The outline of HTV structural design and verification

    Paper number



    Mr. Hidefumi Kawano, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Japan


    Mr. Atsushi Kuno, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Japan




    Background. Expeditions to the Moon or Mars will require more crewmember autonomy than previous space missions. Currently during on-orbit space missions, crewmembers have low levels of autonomy, in that their schedule is largely directed by timelines developed in mission control. The psychosocial impact of high autonomy on space crewmembers and mission control personnel is unknown. Before autonomous conditions can be tested in space habitats such as the International Space Station, they should be piloted in space-simulated environments to evaluate their safety and feasibility. Procedures. A series of undersea space simulation missions incorporating higher periods of crew autonomy are underway via NASA Extreme Environment Missions Operations (NEEMO). In our ongoing study of 5 crews and their topside mission control colleagues, members of both groups are filling out a weekly questionnaire during high versus low autonomy conditions that we have used in our previous on-orbit research. This questionnaire consists of items from the Profile of Mood States, the Group Environment Scale, the Work Environment Scale, and a critical incident log. Results. In this paper, we will discuss results from the first three missions we have studied. Preliminary descriptive analyses of two completed missions (NEEMO 12 and 13) have indicated that the high crew autonomy condition was successfully employed and that there were no adverse results. Trends reflected differences between high and low autonomy conditions on some mood and group climate subscales. A comparison of weekly change scores within a mission with two low autonomy weeks (NEEMO 12) and a mission with one week each of low and high autonomy (NEEMO 13) suggested that crewmembers experienced more self-direction and less fatigue, and topside subjects experienced less work pressure but more job role confusion during the period of high autonomy. Results from a third scheduled mission (NEEMO 14) in this series will also be included in this paper. Conclusions. More subjects are needed to increase the statistical power and generalizability of our findings. However, preliminary results to date suggest that increased crew autonomy in a submersible space simulation project is workable, safe, and may have advantages over the more structured approach characteristic of current on-orbit space missions.

    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-05-C2.1.A.05.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.