Space exploration has an enormous effect on human culture. Our researchers study various facets of the 'human element' in space, including space governance & law, communication, psychology, teamwork and emotions of space crew, as well as space-related arts.
Human activities in space requires rethinking the ways we work and live, and developing effective working and living environments to maximise human performance and wellbeing in space.
Our research, coordinated by Dr Lies Notebaert, crosses and extends a range of social science disciplines including governance, law, policy, cultural studies, media and communications, architecture and design, ethics, management, psychology, and philosophy.
We focus on:
Design for Mars surface architecture by the UWA School of Design student Nik Cutten,
Teamwork is a key driver of space crews and mission control teams to successfully deal with the complexity and unpredictability of events that occur in every space mission.
Our research, led by Dr Ramón Rico, focuses in several areas relevant for space crews and mission control teams:
Firstly, by highlighting how team adaptation is a central process through which teams and multi-team systems (i.e., teams of teams) respond to unanticipated changes in extreme environments.
Secondly, when operating in dynamic and unpredictable contexts, the role of leadership in enabling team adaptation is crucial. For that reason, unraveling how team leaders adapt their leadership style to more accurately understand the situation and help the team to adapt to it, is a central topic of our research.
Finally, teams in space develop their activities by interacting with other teams and organisations to achieve their complex goals. For that reason, and because there is a lack of research focused on systems composed of such teams, we conduct research that improves our understanding of the coordination and motivational processes leading to performance in interdependent systems of teams.
The shadow of Apollo 12 astronauts Charles 'Pete' Conrad and Alan L. Bean on the Moon. Credit: NASA.
For most of human history our emotions about space have been embedded and embodied in our terrestrial experience. This node brings together historians of emotion, science and literature, archaeologists and linguists, with creative practitioners and performers to explore the history and future of emotions in space.
Our interdisciplinary group, led by Professor Yasmin Haskell, has interests in fiction, poetry, visual and performing arts, orbiting a core of research projects on emotions in space.
Areas for exploration include:
Frontispiece of Iter Exstaticum (1660, Kircher), a fantastical journey through the planets.
Top: Design for a Mars surface architecture by the University of Western Australia (UWA) School of Design Masters of Architecture student Nik Cutten, 2018. This architectural design studio was a collaboration between the UWA School of Design and space architects based at the NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston.