Crew autonomy through self-scheduling: Scheduling performance pilot study

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

AIAA Scitech 2021 Forum




Within the domain of human spaceflight, crew scheduling for International Space Station remains a human-driven planning task. Large teams of flight controllers (called Operational Planners, or Ops Planners) spend weeks creating violation-free schedules for all crewmembers. As NASA considers long-duration exploration missions, the necessary shift of scheduling and planning management from Ops Planners to crew members requires significant research and investigation of crew performance to complete these scheduling tasks. This pilot study was conducted to evaluate non-expert human performance for the task of planning and scheduling, focusing on scheduling problems that increased in complexity based on the number of activities to be scheduled and the number of planning constraints. Nine non-expert planners were recruited to complete scheduling tasks using Playbook, a scheduling software. The results of this pilot study show that scheduling performance decreased as scheduling workload (i.e., number of activities and percent of activities with planning constraints) increased. This paper provides evidence towards developing a model for scheduling task difficulty and identifies potential implications for future automated aids for flight crew scheduling.


Research Foundation