Human factors issues in space related hardware



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Space missions of long duration (e.g. Space Station) will require continuous maintenance of equipment in zero-gravity. Different components of life-support, habitation, and communication equipment are held in equipment bays and racks with different kinds of screws (fasteners). Speed of removing the fasteners is important during routine maintenance and critical during emergency maintenance. Speed of removing five types of fasteners was tested in a Latin square design in a simulated zero-g environment. The fastener types tested were hex, phillips, alien, slot, and torque-set. Hex and phillips were removed in an average of 125 and 130 seconds. The remaining three were removed in 220, 273, and 280 seconds, respectively. NASA Man-Systems Integration Standards prohibits the use of slot-head and phillips. Since phillips was among the fastest removed in this study a reevaluation may need to be done for the NASA documentation.



Space vehicles, Equipment and supplies, Psychological aspects, Space tools