In April 1990, NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope from the Shuttle's payload bay into an orbit about 600 kilometers above the Earth. Weighing as much as two adult elephants, the spacecraft has already completed about 93,000 trips around our planet, producing an unprecedented three-quarters of a million photographs of 24,000 celestial objects and phenomena. John Grunsfeld of the Space Telescope Science Institute, command center for the orbiting observatory, said that:
"Hubble has transcended being an astronomer's tool for science, becoming an icon for science around the world.''
After a power failure aboard HST, NASA administrators decided to decommission the aging spacecraft, so as to save costs. Grunsfeld led the global protest for another Shuttle mission to repair the telescope which is in a different orbit from that of ISS. The current administrator, Dr. Michael Griffin, announced the 2008 risky mission by astronauts to fine-tune Hubble so that it can continue to function another five years at the minimum. The spacefarers will do five spacewalks to install instruments that include a new camera and spectrograph which will use ultraviolet vision to study the galaxies and changes in the universe's structure. Already Hubble has helped astronomers calculate the age of the universe (13.7 billion years old); detected proto-galaxies that emitted their light when the universe was less than a billion years old; proved the existence of super-massive black holes in the centers of many galaxies; showed that the process of forming stars with planetary systems is common throughout the galaxy; and has even deteted the atmosphere of an exoplanet.
New tools had to be invented, like a mini power screwdriver, so the astronauts can make complex repairs to the power supply. The "service team'' have been practicing for many hours in a simulated environment. In addition to Grunsfeld, the STS-125 Atlantis repair crew will consist of mission commander Scott Altman, plus Gregory Johnson, Andrew Feustel, Michael Good, Michael Massimino, and K. Megan McArthur. Peak performance by these seven may keep HST in orbit until 2021 when it is hoped to have an observatory functioning on the Moon. This paradigm-changing, mind-blowing orbital telescope is history which humankind in the future will marvel at for its advancement of science, especially astronomy.
Source: Adapted from Jenna Bryner's "Hubble Hugger Eager to Fix Mind-Blowing Telescope'': www.space.com/news/science/astronomy, January 1, 2007.
expert systems will construct many structures there, as well as do the principal mining and manufacturing.5 In the 21st century, a blend of humans and robots will transform the Moon into a laboratory of learning, science hub, and jump-off point for further exploration of deep space . Mindstretch in Exhibit 71 as The
5 See "Lunar Robotic and Communications Systems,'' in D. G. Schrunk, B. Sharpe, B. Cooper, and M. Thangavelu, The Moon: Resources, Future Development, and Settlement. Chichester, U.K.: Springer/Praxis, 2008, ch. 4/Ap. A.
Human resource development of spacefarers 227 Exhibit 71. CAN ROBOTS BE TRUSTED?
• Dr. Vinton Cerf, one of the Internet founders, has been working with NASA to develop an interplanetary internet (IPN). The delay-and-destruction protocol requires provisions for time delays in space communications over long distances. Building such networks in outer space has been tested on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a probe that went around the "Red Planet''. Such concepts are being adopted as part of a 40-year plan for deployment of space platforms. IPNs will eventually consist of interconnected planetary internets.
• After decades of speculation, the idea of space elevators is being researched, and NASA is providing an annual $400,000 prize fund to encourage the technology of building a lift from the Earth's surface into space. The concept calls for an orbiting satellite to be linked to the planet's surface by a cable, so that vehicles could climb up and down. To and from GEO would require a phenomenally strong, yet light-weight cable. By whisking cargo and maybe people in this manner, the cost of access into space would be dramatically cut, even if the elevator costs some $10 billion to build. Two companies have entered the competition and hope to make the space elevator commercially viable. In February 2006, LiftPort conducted its first test with hot-air balloons secured from a cable on which robots climbed up and down. The other firm is X Tech Projects, which is studying how to get a cable to reach GEO some 22,250 miles away!
• Fuel cells capable of powering portable electronic devices are finally heading toward the marketplace, and may someday be used by spacefarers. Each fuel cell is about the size of a cigarette pack, weighs 150 grams, and generates electricity by combining oxygen from the air with an internal fuel. It can be plugged into hand-held devices for 30 hours of talk time, or twice as much for playback time. This form of battery augmentation may someday be used in orbit for astronauts' laptop computers.
Source: Adapted from The Economist Technology Quarterly, June 10, 2006, Insert-pp. 3, 4, 33 (www.economist.com/technologyquarterly).
Economist, a respected business publication, reports about robotic possibilities on the space horizon.
If history is an indicator, the experience in orbit itself advances one's personal and professional growth. As the numbers going to the high ground increase exponentially, more comprehensive and systematic human resource development (HRD) will be needed for spacefarers on the ground before departure, while in orbit, and on reentry. HRD refers to organized activities that produce behavioral changes within a specific timeframe, such as happens through education and training, be it in groups or self-study. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) described human resource areas as concerned with improved and increased quality of work life, relative to productivity, job satisfaction, career development, and readiness for change. According to ASTD, the HRD arena encompasses a wide scope of organizational activities: selection and staffing; human resource planning, organizational/job design; organization development; training and personnel development; union/labor relations; employee assistance, compensation and benefits; personnel research and information systems. These activities on the human side of enterprise impact performance. Relative to present and future space programs, whether under government or industry sponsorship, HRD may be viewed in terms of space workers on Earth or on stations and settlements in outer space. Essentially, such human asset management and development is concerned with facilitating high performance among space workers, while sustaining knowledge and talent management .
With regard to the latter, your author has proposed that within the emerging space culture, consideration be given to establishing space personnel deployment systems, which will be discussed in Chapter 6. Essentially, this is an HRD strategy comparable with an Earth-based analog of foreign deployment systems used in the relocation of people to overseas locations and foreign cultures. Space personnel deployment systems (SPDS) are planned and ordered means for the exchange of people to/from Earth and the high frontier. As Chapter 6 will explain, these systems are meant to both ensure the safety, satisfaction, and development of spacefarers, while furthering their space missions and settlements. This approach centers around four components: assessment and orientation before departure into orbit, in-space services, and re-entry counseling. Chapter 6 will include further information on human performance in space within the context of the SPDS paradigm.
Obviously, national space agencies already have elements of such systems in place for their astronauts or cosmonauts. However, some of the approaches are either too narrow in scope, such as the de-briefing process, or unsuitable for larger groups of civilians who will eventually go into orbit. The contract workers who maintain the International Space Station, and the varied visitors to it, make that station a perfect laboratory opportunity to study ways for improving living conditions not only for station inhabitants, but for many who will migrate in the next century to other space bases and colonies. Under the Living Systems research strategy described in Chapter 3, the author was among a group of behavioral scientists who also propose development of a data or knowledge bank with a pattern recognition and retrieval system relative to the human role, performance, potential, and challenges when living and working in space. In addition to storing findings from Earth-based analogs of significance for orbital living, this information system could be a comprehensive global storehouse on the human experience and habitation in isolated, confined environments, such as space. By using the Living Systems template of Dr. James Grier Miller for cross-disciplinary analysis, such a framework and databank would enable planners and researchers to have easy access to the knowledge necessary for operating and managing human systems in space.
Space agencies already have prototype HRD programs which include data gathering about spacefarers. But these public organizations have been circumspect in their analysis and release of information about the human experience in space during the past 40 years. Admittedly, NASA has been rather forthright about medical and biological knowledge gained from previous spaceflights, and does publish an internal history. Yet, this same agency has limited the study or release of information on the psychosocial experience of its personnel in space. NASA generally has also limited access to the astronauts by social science researchers, even its own psychologists and psychiatrists; the agency has failed to exploit the data it has collected which could improve spaceflight and living for others to follow. There are indications that transcripts of crew communications going back to the Mercury flights have yet to be fully analyzed from a behavioral science context, so as to obtain clues to improve future missions and avoid tragedies. In the course of my own research, I have proposed that NASA sponsor an anonymous mail survey of past and present astronauts who have flown or are flying in space. Using questions based on both space and ground-based deployment analogs, valuable input could be provided from this expert group for the next generation of spacefarers. If NASA cooperated with the Russian Federal Space Agency in a comparable study of cosmonauts, then the combined findings would have global implications for the HRD of future space travelers! Although professionally a flight surgeon, W.K. Douglas  did attempt to gain such insights from ten astronauts, albeit with a very limited sample and some inadequacies in terms of methodology. But, he fully understood that pilots and astronauts have often been described as individuals who distrust or even dislike psychologists and fear physicians. Nevertheless, Dr. Douglas was able to sample astronaut opinions, beliefs, and experiences with a view to improving human performance on manned Space Station missions. The point is that persons who have been in orbit are a resource, both for information and as trainers, mentors, and consultants for preparing others to go aloft. We should capture their insights through instrumented surveys (i.e., surveys using instruments for data gathering), audio and video cassettes, as well as computer systems for the purpose of further space HRD. From these data, simulations, virtual reality, films, and other training aids could be developed for use with future spacefarers.
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