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Scientific field training for human planetary exploration

Lim, D. S. S. and Warman, G. L. and Gernhardt, M. L. and McKay, C. P. and Fong, T. and Marinova, M. M. and Davila, A. F. and Andersen, D. and Brady, A. L. and Cardman, Z. and Cowie, B. and Delaney, M. D. and Fairén, A. G. and Forrest, A. L. and Heaton, J. and Laval, B. E. and Arnold, R. and Nuytten, P. and Osinski, G. and Reay, M. and Reid, D. and Schulze-Makuch, D. and Shepard, R. and Slater, G. F. and Williams, D. (2010) Scientific field training for human planetary exploration. Planetary and Space Science, 58 (6). pp. 920-930. ISSN 0032-0633.

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Forthcoming human planetary exploration will require increased scientific return (both in real time and post-mission), longer surface stays, greater geographical coverage, longer and more frequent EVAs, and more operational complexities than during the Apollo missions. As such, there is a need to shift the nature of astronauts’ scientific capabilities to something akin to an experienced terrestrial field scientist. To achieve this aim, the authors present a case that astronaut training should include an Apollo-style curriculum based on traditional field school experiences, as well as full immersion in field science programs. Herein we propose four Learning Design Principles (LDPs) focused on optimizing astronaut learning in field science settings. The LDPs are as follows: (1) LDP#1: Provide multiple experiences: varied field science activities will hone astronauts’ abilities to adapt to novel scientific opportunities (2) LDP#2: Focus on the learner: fostering intrinsic motivation will orient astronauts towards continuous informal learning and a quest for mastery (3) LDP#3: Provide a relevant experience—the field site: field sites that share features with future planetary missions will increase the likelihood that astronauts will successfully transfer learning (4) LDP#4: Provide a social learning experience—the field science team and their activities: ensuring the field team includes members of varying levels of experience engaged in opportunities for discourse and joint problem solving will facilitate astronauts’ abilities to think and perform like a field scientist. The proposed training program focuses on the intellectual and technical aspects of field science, as well as the cognitive manner in which field scientists experience, observe and synthesize their environment. The goal of the latter is to help astronauts develop the thought patterns and mechanics of an effective field scientist, thereby providing a broader base of experience and expertise than could be achieved from field school alone. This will enhance their ability to execute, explore and adapt as in-field situations require.

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Additional Information:© 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Received 6 May 2009; revised 20 February 2010; accepted 24 February 2010. Available online 2 March 2010. The authors would like to thank the Canadian Space Agency’s ‘Canadian Analog Research Network’ Program and NASA’s Moon and Mars Analog Mission Activities (MMAMA) program for their continued support. We also thank the NASA ASTEP and Spaceward Bound program, NASA ESMD Analogs, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada’s Discovery Grant program, and the National Geographic Society. We are most grateful to all of the members of the PLRP for their continued field and intellectual support. We also thank the Ts'Kw'aylaxw First Nation, British Columbia Parks, Linda and Mickey Macri, and the Pavilion Community. This is PLRP publication number 09-03.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Geographic SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Discovery Grant ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Field science; Planetary exploration; Astronaut; Training; Pavilion lake
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
PLRP publication09-03
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100625-112346410
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18815
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Jun 2010 00:09
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:48

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