Evaluation of self-scheduling exercises completed by analog crewmembers in nasa’s human exploration research analog (HERA)

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

Accelerating Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery conference, ASCEND 2021




NASA human spaceflight missions are inherently dynamic and require frequent scheduling changes to adapt to shifting mission priorities and objectives. Tactical level changes to the mission plan are traditionally made by a team of expert planners and operations specialists on the ground. Astronauts are expected to execute more autonomously during future long duration missions, however, and will need to take on some of the responsibility of managing their own schedule while still abiding by the numerous constraints required by human spaceflight operations. This paper summarizes salient elements of crew performance in NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog Campaign 3. Analog crewmembers completed a series of self-scheduling exercises to evaluate Playbook’s usability towards enabling self-scheduling without support from ground control. Playbook is a self-scheduling software tool designed and developed by our team. We also investigated how to best communicate self-scheduling tasks and constraints to the crew to facilitate efficient self-scheduling during isolation in a realistic environment. Our analysis identified that 30 minutes was sufficient to complete complex self-scheduling tasks. Our evaluation also identified differences between individual and collaborative performance; analog crewmembers completed self-scheduling exercises more quickly as a team as opposed to individually and reported lower subjective difficulty ratings overall.


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