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NASA's NEEMO 20 Mission will make extensive use of Playbook, NASA Ames' crew self scheduling tool.
(Jul 28, 2015)
The crew of NEEMO 20 (NASA Extreme Environments Mission Operations), which started on July 20th and runs for two weeks, will use Playbook, Ames' crew self scheduling tool, to simulate crew autonomy needed for deep space missions in preparation for evaluation on the International Space Station as part of the upcoming ESA short duration mission (September 2015).

Playbook has been specifically adapted to support time delayed communications for this mission. While Playbook was used for mission operations during NEEMO 19, the Ames Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) team from the Human Systems Integration Division collected data on the functionality and usability of the system. The Playbook planning tool has heritage back to the Mars Exploration Rover mission, the Phoenix Mars Lander mission, the Mars Science Laboratory, and ISS crew activity planning by ground controllers at Johnson Space Center. Unlike those applications, however, this version of Ames' flagship planning system is specifically designed for use by crew (rather than by mission controllers). It was created for use on mobile devices including iPads and iPhones but also runs on regular computers and laptops. Playbook allows the crew and controllers to view and manipulate timelined mission activities, capture the Mission Log (along with associated pictures and video) and access procedures for all mission activities. Playbook was designed to require minimal training, and crew use so far indicates that this has been very successful. The Ames Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) team will continue to collect data on functionality and usability of the system for NEEMO 20.

A key goal for Playbook on NEEMO 20, which started on July 20th 2015, is to assess crews' ability to reschedule some of their own activities without input from ground and allow the NEEMO mission to better simulate time-delay, a necessary area of research for future manned deep space missions and increased crew autonomy on the ISS. Previously this was highlighted on the NEEMO 19 mission where, for the first time, crew members successfully self-scheduled their EVA mission plan using Playbook on Mission Day 5 without input from ground. This year for NEEMO 20 Playbook will be improving and extending these capabilities for EVA self-scheduling by allowing crew members to self-schedule groups of activities on the fly, which will allow for greater crew autonomy and make crew self-scheduling even more efficient. The NEEMO 20 Crew includes 3 astronauts: Luca Parmitano (ESA), Serena Aunon (NASA), Norishige Kanai (JAXA), and EVA Management Office engineer David Coan (NASA).
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Jessica Nowinski
Last Updated: September 11, 2023