Designing for maximum adaptability before, during and after spaceflight

Craig McCormack, Olga Bannova, Sheryl Bishop, Jorge D. Camba

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    4 Scopus citations


    Possible psychological complications of a long space flight beyond the Earth low orbit have been under discussion since such missions were first proposed. Those complications are related to the confined environment of a spacecraft during the flight and habitats on the moon or Mars surface, crewmembers' personalities, cultural and social differences, and work-related stressors. As a result of crew exposure to all or some of these difficulties, crewmembers may not be able to perform at their best capacity and fulfill their mission requirements. This exploratory paper examines architectural and design strategies that address and potentially alleviate stressors through stimulating crew adaptability to new environments and circumstances. These strategies are analyzed based on following dimensions for adaptive performance: • Self-controlled behavior in emergencies and crisis situations. •Managing work-related stress, especially in critical situations. • Innovative approach to problem solving. • Maintaining productive operations in unpredictable and unknown situations. • Continuing learning and applying new technologies and procedures. • Facilitating social and cultural adaptability. • Displaying adaptability to physical environment and managing it to fit the purpose. The paper aims to analyze these listed dimensions through relevant case studies and to identify any potential opportunities for the development and integration of supportive design strategies to increase adaptability in crewmembers. In a summary, a platform for further inquiry into architectural and design strategies is proposed for more in-depth discussion in the future.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publication68th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2017
    Subtitle of host publicationUnlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security
    PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)9781510855373
    StatePublished - 2017
    Event68th International Astronautical Congress: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security, IAC 2017 - Adelaide, Australia
    Duration: Sep 25 2017Sep 29 2017

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
    ISSN (Print)0074-1795


    Other68th International Astronautical Congress: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security, IAC 2017


    • Adaptability
    • Design
    • Habitability
    • Mission planning
    • Space architecture
    • Spaceflight

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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