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Free Content Performance Assessment in the PILOT Experiment On Board Space Stations Mir and ISS

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BACKGROUND: The aim of this investigation into the performance and reliability of Russian cosmonauts in hand-controlled docking of a spacecraft on a space station (experiment PILOT) was to enhance overall mission safety and crew training efficiency. The preliminary findings on the Mir space station suggested that a break in docking training of about 90 d significantly degraded performance.

METHODS: Intensified experiment schedules on the International Space Station (ISS) have allowed for a monthly experiment using an on-board simulator. Therefore, instead of just three training tasks as on Mir, five training flights per session have been implemented on the ISS. This experiment was run in parallel but independently of the operational docking training the cosmonauts receive.

RESULTS: First, performance was compared between the experiments on the two space stations by nonparametric testing. Performance differed significantly between space stations preflight, in flight, and postflight. Second, performance was analyzed by modeling the linear mixed effects of all variances (LME). The fixed factors space station, mission phases, training task numbers, and their interaction were analyzed. Cosmonauts were designated as a random factor. All fixed factors were found to be significant and the interaction between stations and mission phase was also significant.

DISCUSSION: In summary, performance on the ISS was shown to be significantly improved, thus enhancing mission safety. Additional approaches to docking performance assessment and prognosis are presented and discussed.

Johannes B, Salnitski V, Dudukin A, Shevchenko L, Bronnikov S. Performance assessment in the PILOT experiment on board space stations Mir and ISS. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2016; 87(6):534–544.

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Keywords: Progress; Soyuz; individual styles; manual docking training; prediction; spaceflight

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Cologne, Germany

Publication date: June 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • This journal (formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine), representing the members of the Aerospace Medical Association, is published monthly for those interested in aerospace medicine and human performance. It is devoted to serving and supporting all who explore, travel, work, or live in hazardous environments ranging from beneath the sea to the outermost reaches of space. The original scientific articles in this journal provide the latest available information on investigations into such areas as changes in ambient pressure, motion sickness, increased or decreased gravitational forces, thermal stresses, vision, fatigue, circadian rhythms, psychological stress, artificial environments, predictors of success, health maintenance, human factors engineering, clinical care, and others. This journal also publishes notes on scientific news and technical items of interest to the general reader, and provides teaching material and reviews for health care professionals.

    To access volumes 74 through 85, please click here.
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