Significance of human factors Essay
Significance of human factors
Because of the significance of human participation in the space industry, one of the most critical considerations in space research involves human factors. The improvement, growth, and success of the industry can only be done with proper consideration of the people who would be directly involved in explorations. Humans, after all, have limitations and the significant investment allotted for the space industry by the countries can only be ensured if human conditions are considered and precautions are done to minimize problems that could arise as a result of these limitations. Such limitations could then result in unsuccessful explorations.
It is important to remember that it is not only the financial aspect that could be affected by improper considerations because of unsuccessful space explorations, but also the time. Unsuccessful explorations cannot be easily replaced and it is most probable that another similar project can be done only after many decades of delay, resulting in further waste of funds and other resources (Man-Systems Integration Standards, n. d. ). Human Factors research aims to discover and contribute to the present knowledge involving human characteristics that influence and must be considered in the designs of systems and processes.
Generally, it involves studies on human and systems performance, design and organization of the work space, the skills required, technology, human-computer action controls and problems in presentation, detection and recognition. The term, “human factors” is usually deemed synonymous with “ergonomics” because both focus on the improvement of the function in the work environment to make it seem more natural and safe for the people. However, the term “ergonomics” focuses mainly on the physical designs and set-up while “human factors” also consider the psychological aspects.
These include the behavior, cognitive, perceptual and psychodynamic aspects that could improve the functions in the workplace, in this case, the space. The study of the human factors in space are necessary because the people who are directly involve with explorations, as said earlier, have limitations, and must be able to withstand all the foreign physical conditions, unfamiliar challenges and psychosocial interactions in order to return home safely and successfully, bringing all the knowledge they have acquired to contribute to the constructive goals in human achievement and development (Human Factors, 2007).
The Human Factors The conditions in space necessitate the consideration of human factors particularly in spacecraft design, life-support systems as well as extravehicular suits. Few others aspects where human factors are critical are the duration of the space flight and the type of the space flight (whether short-term or long-term). At this point, human experience in space has been limited to missions that are under the classification of short-term.
But with the advent of space age and declarations of space travel to the moon and Mars, long-term space flights are now at hand and must be carefully studied for a higher probability of success (President Bush Announces New Vision for Space Exploration Program, 2004). At this point, the NASA prioritizes the development in research about human factors issues that include: design of operations and equipment, the sustenance of interactions, the effect of their isolation, microgravity, and their foreign environment that could affect their cognitive and physical performance (Man-Systems Integration Standards, 2006).
In general, it is the relation of gravity to the human factors, anthropometry and biology that are considered in the design of equipment, clothes and systems in space. Meanwhile, the fact that people sent to space become isolated and limited in social terms necessitates the consideration of psychology (Man-Systems Integration Standards, 2006).