As documented by the Human Research Program, there is a need for tools to aid in assessing habitability in space vehicles/habitats. Currently, human factors and habitability feedback is collected during post-mission debriefs that may occur up to several months following the end of a mission. This tool was developed to provide a simple means to collect feedback from astronauts regarding human factors and habitability observations throughout the course of a mission.

The purpose of the Space Habitability Observation Reporting Tool (iSHORT) is to provide a means for astronauts to report habitability and human factors observations in near real time. The software allows users to collect multimedia data (text, photos, video, audio), and provides a means to submit the observation to researchers and operations personnel.

The iOS-based tool provides crew-members with the capability to immediately document observations about their interactions with the environment, e.g., task volumes, privacy needs, hardware issues, and space utilization. The app is loaded onto an iPad (iPad 2 or later). Users open the app and enter their observations. The app then submits data through pushing data to a local server.

The software captures text, audio, video, and photographs within a single interface and indicates priority of observation (no change needed, nice-to-have, or must be addressed). A list of memory-joggers assists in recalling items of interest related to human factors and habitability. Users can view previously submitted observations and submit simple reports within the app. The app is currently used as a data collection tool onboard the International Space Station for a Human Research Program-sponsored habitability study.

This work was done by Jacqueline Hamilton of LZ Technology; Sherry Thaxton, Ron Archer, Jurine Adolf, and Kritina Holden of Lockheed Martin; and Mihiriban Whitmore and Richard Morency of Johnson Space Center. NASA has decided not to apply for a patent on this technology. For further information, please contact JSC at 281-483-3809 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to MSC-25736-1

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This article first appeared in the July, 2018 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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