International Astronautical Congress IAC (2013): Beijing, ROC

EVA Simulation training underwater with a remote Mission 'Control'.

Sarah Jane Pell, Astronaut Paolo Nespoli & Mark Mackay


  • Demonstrated model for an innovative education and public outreach workshop
  • Feasibility of networking EVA simulation training underwater for graduate-level education and outreach.
  • Evaluation of a multi-disciplinary workshop design and industry-relevance.
  • Recommendations for future multi-gravitational human-robotic/mechanical operational requirements.
  • Current opportunities for novel research hardware elements in an operational scenario.
  • Abstract

    We live in an increasingly stimulation-rich environment comprising of actual and virtual networked systems and complex human-computing and environment interactions. Much of our education, training and adaptation for activities in extreme environments from the sea to space makes use of real-time network design - coupled with direct physical, real-world experience. Virtual Motion Simulators and networked analogue research station activities are a great example. The budgets and unique locations of sophisticated facilities such as this, limit the opportunities for broad education and outreach opportunities for a wide eld of young professionals. We ask, what can be achieved with a stone-soup build combining expert human resources with limited time and budgets, with commonly-available technical resources, good will, good attitudes and reasonable proximity to a wireless network and local pool? This paper outlines the challenges and discoveries arising from an ambitious workshop designed to introduce participants of the International Space University Southern Hemisphere Summer Space Program to the rigors of EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity or spacewalk) and the complexities of working in neutral buoyancy facilities (WET) and interdisciplinary networked environments (DRY). Conducted with two teams of 20 people, over two days, and across two-locations, the EVA simulation training exercise aimed at challenging and connecting the activities of participants in the water with those of a remote mission control. The mission objective was to perform a simulated EVA to complete the installation of the 'D'Under Arm (an Australian response to the Canadian Arm). Under the supervision and remote control of a mission control center, the spacewalkers, wearing regular SCUBA gear in a 3-meter deep pool, were to egress through an airlock (simulated by hula hoops); transport hardware and tools to the work-site using speci c tethering protocols; complete the hardware installation with semi-real time rudimentary instructions from mission control; attach a calibration tool to the end of the installation; maneuver the 'D'Under Arm to perform an inspection, and translate back to the airlock with their tools. We highlight the activities to report on the lessons-learned and the recommendations for future low-cost educational EVA Simulations, covering aspects including operational design considerations for the systems installation, the con guration and operation of crew aids, tools, communications and operational protocols.

    1 EVA Sim, Sarah Jane Pell 2013 2 EVA Sim, Sarah Jane Pell 2013 3 EVA Sim, Sarah Jane Pell 2013 4 EVA Sim, Sarah Jane Pell 2013

    Fig. 1: EVA-NB-SIM workshop participant teams. Fig. 2: EVA-NB-SIM communications network. Fig. 3: Mission Control Mawson Lakes SIM-A: Command centre teams responding to media delays, blackouts and lag-time during ‘Meteor Shower’. Fig. 4: Airlock egress/ingress protocol simulated by tethering to a translation line through 4 hula-hoops.

    This paper (IAC-13,E1,7,9,x18783) was presented during the 64th IAC in Beijing. SPACE EDUCATION AND OUTREACH SYMPOSIUM (E1) New Worlds - Innovative Space Education and Outreach (7)

    Copyright 2013 by Dr. Sarah Jane Pell. Published by the IAF, with permission and released to the IAF to publish in all forms.

    Designing mixed gravity exertion games for use in space.

    Sarah Jane Pell & Florian 'Floyd' Mueller


    The recent boom of private-space-related activities from Space-X, Virgin Galactic to the X-Prize challenge and broad public appeal of successful musical transmissions from the NASA MARS rover Curiosity and utilisation of the International Space Station – is contributing to a significant shift in perception and openness to the notion of civilian-designed initiatives for wider human access to space. This paper examines opportunities for new design strategies at the intersection of human movement and the body to create accessible and creative interactions in simulation environments and Earth-based analogue training environments for future engagements in the space. We focus on technology, physical exertion and play harnessed to approach two challenges: a) designing altered-gravity exertion games for Earth-based analogue and simulation environments, preparing the physiological, psychological, psycho-spatial and human-factors interactions or training; and b) designing altered-gravity exertion games for Space environments contributing playful-yet-useful interactions supporting wider-human health considerations in these environments. We present projects of the Exertion Games Lab to discuss how the designs consider prior knowledge of humans exposed to the space environment; the historical mapping of activities undertaken by humans in these spaces; and research of parallel activities in extreme space from saturation divers, to miners, acrobats to mountaineers then combined with the playful or gameful techno-engineering and human-computing interactions for current, and predicted interactions on Earth and in extreme future environments. Why is this significant? History shows Space is a highly sophisticated and expensive field of inquiry and the margins for ad-hoc experimentation, pre-ordained moments of improvisation, play and intuitive, imaginative are challenging - unless of course, you are an astronaut or delegate already undertaking ap- prove science or engineering and then such ingenuity is considered genius. Key priority research areas, codes of conduct, security and access to human and material resources, have been directed largely by politics, mission requirements, timelines and budget parameters, filtering down to effect the opportunities for artists, inventors, and designers to partner, collaborate, practice and connect with space professionals and their activities and resources, that is, until recently. This shift in opportunity, focus and possibility is explored to ask how projects like Gravity Well: Underwater Play, and iFall:iFloat:iFeel adopt an interdisciplinary design solution to this burgeoning frontier opportunity. Recommendations are made for future development of civilian-based exertion game interactions in extreme and altered-gravity environments from undersea to the extremes of space.

    This paper (IAC-13,E5,1,4,x18692) was presented during the 64th IAC in Beijing. 24th SYMPOSIUM ON SPACE ACTIVITY AND SOCIETY (E5) New architectural, Strategic and Design Approaches to the Future of Human Space Flight (1).

    Copyright 2013 by Dr. Sarah Jane Pell. Published by the IAF, with permission and released to the IAF to publish in all forms.

    Astronuts as an artistic medium.

    Sarah Jane Pell


    Humans experience many coexistent and contrary needs in relation to any given space. We have a desire for socialising, communicating and being close to others and, in direct contrast, we desire privacy, individuality and opportunities for meditation and creativity. Artists are well placed to translate the human factors of encounters with the world around us and in extreme environments - yet traditionally, this is not a priority pre-requisite for candidates of spaceflight. Abilities in education, outreach, and public relations are however well-regarded attributes. Rapidly developing advances in real-time communications technologies, social networking, broadcasting and two-way audio-visual and biometric data streams from the depths of our oceans, across our planet and beyond add to the expectation that space-farers will translate their experience in numerous ways. Participation in public and immediate communication of experience in addition to the continuing commitment and expectation to publish, present and relive the experience over-and-over for those of us who will never have the chance to live through such adventures, is almost ’part of the job description’. For some astronauts, aspects of their experience are immortalised in film, theatre, radio and music, while for others, it remains private, personal and yet, they often continue public life and service, as national heros and leaders giving speeches, interviews, workshops and appearances much like rock-stars. Inspired by recent conversations with Astronauts providing insight into the performative public life post-space mission, this paper outlines a proposed new collaborative space-art project which examines the societal and political implications if we are to acknowledge our most remote envoys of human spaceflight as an artistic medium.

    This paper (IAC-13,E5,4,1,x18916) was submitted to the 64th IAC in Beijing. 24th SYMPOSIUM ON SPACE ACTIVITY AND SOCIETY (E5) Space as an Artistic Medium (3).

    Copyright 2013 by Dr. Sarah Jane Pell. Published by the IAF, with permission and released to the IAF to publish in all forms.

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