1989-07-01

Maintaining Human Productivity During Mars Transit 891435

This paper addresses the special nature of the human-machine relationship during a trip to Mars. In particular, the potential for monotony and boredom during a long-duration space voyage and the effect on motivation and productivity can be important considerations to the health and welfare of the crew. On the voyage to Mars, there are likely to be extended periods of low-level activity for the crew during which it will be difficult to prevent monotony and boredom. These circumstances are different from those typically addressed in the human-machine designs which were concerned with reducing the human workload. For the voyage to Mars, we may be looking for a design that will purposefully maintain some level of workload for the crew as a preventive measure for the deterioration of productivity that comes with boredom. In this paper we will speculate on these considerations, on the appropriate level of workload for maximum productivity, and on what might be done during the mission to alleviate the problems caused by monotony and boredom.

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