Shuttle pilots returning from short duration missions have demonstrated an adverse effect of microgravity exposure on their ability to control the spacecraft. As NASA prepares for exploration missions further afield a high priority has been placed on determining how long-duration spaceflight affects sensorimotor performance, how this translates to operator proficiency, and what countermeasures should be developed. We were recently awarded a grant from NASA to develop a full motion sensorimotor test system for assessment of operator proficiency in astronauts returning from the International Space Station (ISS). Astronauts will perform a battery of sensorimotor tests before and after extended missions (6 months) aboard the ISS, as well as assessments of their ability to land a T-38A Talon jet, drive a car and a mars rover, and teleoperate a robotic arm during full motion simulations. Three systems, based on the CKAS V7 motion base, are being developed for installation in New York, Johnson Space Center in Houston, and the University of Sydney. Dr. Hamish MacDougall of Sydney University is the co-Principal Investigator, and is currently working with HAL on the implementation of the cabin, subject seating and visual displays.
Supported by NASA grant NNX09AL14G (S. Moore PI). ISS video gallery