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ABSTRACT — Human spaceflight is incredibly complex, and future missions will become more challenging. It will not be sufficient on longer and more ambitious missions simply to ensure that things do not go wrong (risk mitigation); it will also be necessary to provide the tools (tangible and intangible) for the crew and the mission to be resilient – to deal with the unexpected. This takes on increased importance when one recognizes that crews on distant missions will be largely autonomous and independent of help from Earth. We posit that this type of resilience will depend to a great extent on the proper functional integration of many different systems – human health and performance, spacecraft/habitat integrity, mission operations, and many others. These systems must work together synergistically in order to maintain performance and deal with the unexpected. Approaches to this problem can be drawn from the fields of resilience engineering, complex systems, and complex networks. This type of thinking has not yet been applied to human spaceflight in a systematic manner. Shelhamer M, Gersh JR (2023) A mission architecture to integrate human and spacecraft functional performance. Proceedings of the 2023 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2023. Shelhamer M (2019) Enabling and enhancing human health and performance for Mars colonies: smart spacecraft and smart habitats. In: K Szocik (ed.), The Human Factor in a Mission to Mars. New York: Springer.
SPEAKER — Mark Shelhamer is on the faculty of Johns Hopkins where he started as a postdoctoral fellow in 1990. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Drexel University, and a doctoral degree in Biomedical Engineering from MIT. At MIT he worked on sensorimotor physiology and modeling, including the study of astronaut adaptation to space flight. He then moved to Johns Hopkins where he continued the study of sensorimotor adaptation with an emphasis on the vestibular and oculomotor systems and nonlinear dynamics. From 2013 to 2016 he served as Chief Scientist for the NASA Human Research Program at the Johnson Space Center. In that role, he oversaw NASA’s research portfolio for maintaining health and performance in long-duration spaceflight. This portfolio spans a range from physiology to psychology, including planning of medical systems and effects of radiation. Since returning to Johns Hopkins, his research has continued in the area of sensorimotor function, which includes experiments on ISS astronauts as well as crews of commercial orbital space flights. He also has a research program devoted to the multi-system and cross-disciplinary interactions that contribute to personal and mission resilience in spaceflight. In addition to these research endeavors, Dr. Shelhamer has worked to promote human spaceflight research, at Johns Hopkins and more broadly, under the title of bioastronautics@hopkins. This group has organized online symposia on topics in human spaceflight, and online journal clubs and informal happy hours, which are attended by students and colleagues from around the world.
Colloquium Committee Sponsor: Dr. Ken Carpenter, 301-286-3453
Tuesday, December 12, 2023 / Lecture starts at 3:00 PM Hybrid: In-Person and On line