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Human Reliability Analysis in Spaceflight Applications


Correspondence to: Mary Randolph-Gips, University of Houston Clear Lake, Houston, TX, USA.



Predicting and mitigating human error in manned spaceflight can be the difference between mission success and lost vehicle or crewmember. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has used the Cognitive Reliability Error Analysis Model analysis developed by the nuclear industry during the last 30 years of manned spaceflight to predict human error. Although the analysis has proven to be reliable, it does not take into account operations specific for long duration spaceflight such as crew training and ground support. This article first explains the principles of the Cognitive Reliability Error Analysis Model and how it is used at NASA. Then, the probability for error for an International Space Station ingress procedure is calculated using standard performance shaping factors developed for the nuclear power industry. Lastly, the environmental and operational constraints of space flight are used to develop new performance shaping factors specific to a NASA-operated spacecraft. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.