Human spaceflight performance: bootstrapping the intersection of biometrics and artistic expression through planetary mission analogue EVAS

Sarah Jane Pell, Ryan L. Kobrick, David G. Barnes

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


Human spaceflight activities often compartmentalize projects by domain, but it is hypothesized that data sets gathered within interdisciplinary frameworks can produce the richest outcomes. This research investigates the intersection of projects native to both hemispheres of the brain to offer a new methodology for proposing research projects focused on using planetary mission analogue extravehicular activities (EVA). These simulated, multi-permutation, EVAs are critical for preparing humans for missions to the Moon or Mars. Minimal investment is required to train a crew in an extreme environment compared to actual spaceflight and locations can enlighten and influence our exploration plans ranging from how we design life support equipment, tools, and assess workload to human behaviour, joy, and play, i.e. our culture. Collaboration by the authors has occurred at the Mars Desert Research Station (USA), LunAres MoonMars Research Station (Poland), and with the Mars Academy USA NEAMAE Project (Nepal). Biometric tracking of astronauts is a well-understood medical discipline, but astronaut workload is being further investigated to understand how the physical parameters of an EVA (terrain slope, duration, and consumables) contribute to long-duration mission planning. Artistic expression in this work is highlighted by “Performing Astronautics”, which aims to revive expeditionary artist practice in modern astronautics, exploration, and extreme performance sites. These projects were brought together through the use of common technology including biomedical devices, video and motion recording equipment, and GPS tracking. The qualitative data is maximized through the context of interdependent, layered, and complex interdisciplinary mission scenario simulations, providing higher fidelity insights into the impact and significance of the performance data in question. The simulated EVAs, survival training, and mission scenarios are opportunities to build new technology innovations to solve complex problems through an experimental process under relevant constraints. Support for human spaceflight may wax and wane and vary between nations, but with analogue missions, private or public, the crew becomes the platform themselves: implementing and expanding research data collection and capabilities by innovating within the complexity of a bootstrapped mission environment. This paper will discuss the multidiscipline approach, highlight data results from the investigations, and make recommendations for how this approach can be assimilated into exploration strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIAF Human Spaceflight Symposium 2019, Held at the 70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2019)
Place of PublicationParis France
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation (IAF)
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781713814849
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventInternational Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2019 - Washington, United States of America
Duration: 21 Oct 201925 Oct 2019
Conference number: 70th

Publication series

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


ConferenceInternational Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2019
Abbreviated titleIAC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • Analogue
  • Astronaut training
  • Biometrics
  • Human Performance
  • Motion Capture

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