The Friday Five is a set of five links that I have come across this week that pertain to ergonomics, occupational health, safety, human performance, or human factors. For whatever reason, I found them interesting, but they are provided with minimal or no commentary and are not meant to be endorsement for a given product or research paper.
The topic this week is going to be a little bit different – ergonomics and space. I noticed that Mike Massimino had posted on Twitter yesterday (@AstroMike) that it was #InternationalDayOfHumanSpaceFlight. When I read his biography, one of the things that struck me from an ergonomics standpoint was the section about the attempts to automate the final Hubble repairs but in the end, it needed to be performed by human astronauts – and they needed to modify/create tools to get it done. So, in honor of @AstroMike and all of the other astronauts who have done work in space, here is the Friday Five.
Due to the fact that we perform Post-Offer Physical Abilities testing at Biokinetics, this first study is interesting to me. Taylor et al. looked at 8 NASA astronauts to look at performance on a series of tasks to determine whether task performance can be predicted when in a weighted suit.
Hackney et al. look at the astronaut as an athlete (it’s an apt comparison, similar to the industrial athlete that we talk about within the occupational/industrial health realm) and what can be done to counter the decline of musculoskeletal strength and endurance during space flight to ensure that crew safety and mission success are not negatively impacted by astronaut performance.
Walters and Webb used a NASA Task Load Index to look at factors such as physical demands and effort for personnel involved in robotic surgery. The goals were to determine appropriate staffing levels based on workload to maintain efficiency, team satisfaction, and patient satisfaction.
Strauss et al. reviewed data from extravehicular mobility training to look at the injuries and complaints that occurred during training at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory when astronauts were training in space suits to perform tasks and use the data to determine the best multidisciplinary approach to resolve these issues.
Petersen et al. investigated a new testing battery to look at fitness of astronaut candidates for the European Space Agency.
This is a shot of the Space Shuttle Discovery at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum that I took on March 30, 2018. Back in 2001, I was lucky enough to get to spend a short period of time in one of the mock-up shuttles at Johnson Space Center that was used for training the astronauts. It still amazes me that the astronauts could spend the time in orbit and perform science missions in the crew space which wasn’t very large. We were also able to watch some of the training that was going on in the NBL from one of the control rooms. I’d like to think that the training we witnessed was part of the data set for the paper by Strauss.