We are very excited to receive a new grant from NASA, on which SONIC’s Noshir Contractor is a Co-Investigator.

Project FUSION: Facilitating Unified Systems of Interdependent Organizational Networks

Project FUSION was among seven proposals, selected by NASA’s Human Research Program to help answer questions about astronaut health and performance during future long-duration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. These proposals will investigate the impact of the space environment on various aspects of astronaut health, including behavioral health and performance, cardiovascular alterations, human factors and radiation effects. All of the selected projects will contribute to NASA’s long-term plans for deep space exploration, including to Mars.

Project Team: Dorothy Carter, University of Georgia (PI), Marissa Shuffler, Clemson University (Co-I), Leslie DeChurch, Northwestern (Co-I), Noshir Contractor, Northwestern (Co-I), Aaron Schecter, University of Georgia  (Co-I), Shawn Burke, University of Central Florida (Consultant), Stephen Zaccaro, George Mason University (Consultant), & Lauren Landon, Wyle Laboratories, Inc. (Consultant)

Sending a team of humans to Mars will require extreme forms of teamwork across complex “Multiteam Systems” comprised of multiple teams that are separated by unprecedented degrees of space and time (e.g., mission control teams, spaceflight crews). In “Project FUSION: Facilitating Unified Systems of Interdependent Organizational Networks” we will combine findings from qualitative research with NASA personnel, agent-based computational models, and laboratory studies at The University of Georgia, Northwestern University, and NASA analog environments to uncover the drivers of crucial psycho-social teamwork relationships, such as trust, influence, and shared understanding, within and across teams in Spaceflight Multiteam Systems. Based on this program of research, we will develop and deliver countermeasures, including training and debriefing protocols, to help NASA prepare for and monitor multiteam collaboration throughout long-duration space exploration missions.