Designing for maximum adaptability before, during and after spaceflight

Craig McCormack, Olga Bannova, Sheryl Bishop, Jorge Camba

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paper

4 Citations (Scopus)


Possible psychological complications of a long space flight beyond the Earth low orbit have been under discussion since such missions were first proposed. Those complications are related to the confined environment of a spacecraft during the flight and habitats on the moon or Mars surface, crewmembers’ personalities, cultural and social differences, and work-related stressors. As a result of crew exposure to all or some of these difficulties, crewmembers may not be able to perform at their best capacity and fulfill their mission requirements. This exploratory paper examines architectural and design strategies that address and potentially alleviate stressors through stimulating crew adaptability to new environments and circumstances. These strategies are analyzed based on following dimensions for adaptive performance: - Self-controlled behavior in emergencies and crisis situations. - Managing work-related stress, especially in critical situations. - Innovative approach to problem solving. - Maintaining productive operations in unpredictable and unknown situations. - Continuing learning and applying new technologies and procedures. - Facilitating social and cultural adaptability. - Displaying adaptability to physical environment and managing it to fit the purpose. The paper aims to analyze these listed dimensions through relevant case studies and to identify any potential opportunities for the development and integration of supportive design strategies to increase adaptability in crewmembers. In a summary, a platform for further inquiry into architectural and design strategies is proposed for more in-depth discussion in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 68th International Astronautical Congress
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)978-151085537-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event68th International Astronautical Congress 2017: 28th IAA Symposium on Space and Society - Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 25 Sept 2017 → …

Publication series

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


Conference68th International Astronautical Congress 2017
Abbreviated titleIAC-17
Period25/09/17 → …
Internet address


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