Industrial Engineering

IE Astronaut to Speak at Clemson

- January 2002

Speaker: LTC Nancy J. Currie, Ph.D., NASA-JSC

Title: International Space Station Robotics Systems and Operations - A Human Factors Perspective


Assembly and maintenance of the International Space Station (ISS) will rely heavily on the use of extra-vehicular robotics systems. When fully constructed the ISS will have a complement of three main manipulators, two small dexterous arms, and a mobile base and transporter system. Although fundamental manipulator design, control systems, and strategies for autonomous versus manual control vary greatly between the systems, commonality in the design of workstation controls and displays is considered essential to enhance operator performance, decrease errors, and improve human/system interface. Principal human factors design considerations include graphical user interface commonality within and between systems, adequacy of alignment cues for maintenance of safe approach and mating corridors during berthing tasks, integration of supplemental computer graphic displays to enhance operator global situational awareness, mechanisms to assist with operator orientation and stabilization during operations in a microgravity environment, and training methodologies for preservation of critical skills during long-duration missions.

Dr. Currie is an Army officer assigned to NASA Johnson Space Center. She is assigned to STS-109 scheduled for launch late in 2002. The STS-109 mission will upgrade and service the Hubble Space Telescope. Dr. Currie received her BA (Biological Science) from Ohio State, MS Safety) from Southern California, and PhD (Industrial Engineering) from University of Houston. She has had a number of technical assignments in the Astronaut Office. A veteran of three space flights, she has logged over 737 hours in space.



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