Video: Understanding the emerging role of human-computer interaction in human space exploration

This research is an ethnographic case study of bioastronautics, informatics, emerging technology, and human-computer interaction design in NASA-sponsored university challenges. The goal of this study is to investigate how researchers and engineers interested in human spaceflight, exploration, and habitation conceive of and design for user needs, preferences, and comforts. This study is based on fieldwork conducted at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from 2019 to 2021 through participation in the NASA SUITS and X-Hab challenges. It argues that human-computer interaction (HCI) and computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW) are a central facet of successful planning and execution of human spaceflight missions, exploration, and habitation. Using participant observation, contextual inquiry, and archival data, this study evaluates how bioastronautics researchers and engineers manage the “human element” as it relates to cognition and information processing on a scope that includes the implementation of emerging technologies in vehicle habitats and spacesuit design.

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