Funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Award Number 80NSSC18K0511 

As we set our sights on Mars, and other destinations beyond lower Earth orbit, we must enable extreme forms of teamwork across Spaceflight Multiteam Systems (MTSs) composed of teams that are separated by unprecedented degrees of space and time. In “Project FUSION: Facilitating Unified Systems of Interdependent Organizational Networks,” we embark on a transformative research program rooted in the past decade of theory and research on MTSs, but breaking new ground in how MTSs are conceptualized and studied. Our programmatic research illuminates the underlying forces that give rise to the psycho-social relational states (e.g., influence, trust, shared cognition) within and between teams that underpin mission success. These crucial relationships, and the drivers of their emergence, will be understood, monitored, and at times, circumvented using countermeasures in order to enable coordinated efforts across the Spaceflight MTSs involved in Long-duration Exploration Mission (LDEMs).

This project constitutes a three-year, multi-pronged, multi-method, interdisciplinary project with three main research foci:

  1. Field investigations using NASA personnel;
  2. Development of an agent-based computational model capturing the drivers of relational states; and
  3. Controlled laboratory experiments and analog studies.

Our research design is iterative: findings within each foci will continually infuse the refinement and design of research in other foci. We will provide the following deliverables:

  1. Report explaining the most important MTS factors affecting the performance of the LDEM MTSs,
  2. Detailed countermeasure toolkit including a validated training countermeasure ready for operational implementation with astronauts and mission controllers, and a validated debriefing protocol;
  3. Report that includes specific recommendations for tools and technologies to support inter-team coordination in space MTSs,
  4. Composition recommendations based on the results of our simulation and analog studies, and
  5. Report including code and documentation needed to utilize our ABM.



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