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Collision in Space: Human factors elements of the Mir Progress 234 collision  (2000)
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"ON JUNE 25, 1997, THE Russian supply spacecraft Progress 234 collided with the Mir space station, rupturing its pressure hull, throwing it into an uncontrolled attitude drift, and nearly forcing evacuation of the station. Like many high profile accidents, this collision was the consequence of a chain of events which led to the final piloting errors that were its immediate cause.
The discussion below does not resolve the relative contribution of the several actions and decisions in this chain. Neither does it suggest corrective measures, many of which are straight forward and already implemented by NASA and the Russian Space Agency. Rather, its purpose is to identify the human factors associated with the incident. The Mir-Progress collision is particularly instructive in this respect because human factors played a pervasive role. Workplace stress, fatigue, and sleep deprivation were identified by NASA as contributory factors (NASA, 1997-1999; Culbertson, 1997), but others also present, though in this case only contributory, could become important in future situations. "
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accidents, Collision, fatigue, Mir, piloting errors, Progress, Russian, sleep deprivation, space station, Workplace stress
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Ergonomics in Design: Winter, 2000.
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: August 15, 2019