Federal Aviation Administration (Aerospace)
Scott Shappell, Jaclyn Baron, Michael Sawyer, Paris F. Stringfellow, Rebecca Iden, Katie Berry, Carlos Oliveira
The commercial space industry will operate in a 24-hour, 7-day per week environment. As such, it is reasonable to predict that many of the same shift work, night work, and irregular/unpredictable work schedules that influence traditional aircrews will also impact those venturing into space. Given the unique and unforgiving nature of space flight it is imperative that rules regulating human performance in spaceflight be supported by state-of-the art scientific and operational knowledge. Particularly important to this project are the crew rest and duty restrictions recommended for commercial space flight.
The body of scientific knowledge regarding how shiftwork impacts sleep architecture, vigilance, and performance has grown significantly in the last few decades. From studies in the field to those in the laboratory and simulators, our scientific understanding of how aircrew are effected by sleep loss and crew rest resulting from current flight and duty practices has changed markedly. It makes sense then that incorporating current scientific knowledge of fatigue into commercial space operations (e.g., regulatory scheduling considerations, personal strategies, fatigue countermeasures) would greatly benefit safety.