University of Tasmania

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Scientific field training for human planetary exploration

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 15:37 authored by Lim, DSS, Warman, GL, Gernhardt, ML, McKay, CP, Fong, T, Marinova, MM, Davila, AF, Andersen, D, Brady, AL, Cardman, Z, Cowie, B, Delaney, MD, Fairen, AG, Alexander Forrest, Heaton, J, Laval, BE, Arnold, R, Nuytten, P, Osinski, G, Reay, M, Reid, D, Schulze-Makuch, D, Shepard, R, Slater, GF, Williams, D
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. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Publication title

Planetary and Space Science










Australian Maritime College



Place of publication

Oxford, UK

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in engineering