Working Activity in Space: Preparation of the Scientific Experiments' Performance 2005-01-2957
One of the most unsolved problems in space projects, where human beings are involved, is the impossibility of simulating on the ground the effects of microgravity on astronauts' operability in space.  In particular, this is traceable in the performance of work activities, such as performing physiological scientific experiments.  This paper focuses on a study of the gap between the two operational scenarios: the ground test simulation and the in-flight space performance of complex physiological experiments. The major differences between the two operational scenarios are highlighted, and recommendations for improvement are suggested. The main finding of this paper is that, in order to make experiment performance not only possible but also easy and efficient, it is necessary to consider all human factors involved. With this perspective, the author's aim has been to find an effective way to consider all human factors of the ground and space operational conditions. For this purpose, a set of analysis and simulation tools were selected and tested while studying the Columbus Orbital Facility's physiological experiments. These tools enabled the author to build operational scenarios where spatial, temporal and procedural considerations could be studied simultaneously, so that operational problems were highlighted.