The influence of spatial ability and experience on performance during spaceship rendezvous and docking

  • Du X
  • Zhang Y
  • Tian Y
  • et al.
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Abstract

Manual rendezvous and docking (manual RVD) is a challenging space task for astronauts. Previous research showed a correlation between spatial ability and manual RVD skills among participants at early stages of training, but paid less attention to experts. Therefore, this study tried to explore the role of spatial ability in manual RVD skills in two groups of trainees, one relatively inexperienced and the other experienced operators. Additionally, mental rotation has been proven essential in RVD and was tested in this study among 27 male participants, 15 novices, and 12 experts. The participants performed manual RVD tasks in a high fidelity simulator. Results showed that experience moderated the relation between mental rotation ability and manual RVD performance. On one hand, novices with high mental rotation ability tended to perform that RVD task more successfully; on the other hand, experts with high mental rotation ability showed not only no performance advantage in the final stage of the RVD task, but had certain disadvantages in their earlier processes. Both theoretical and practical implications were discussed.;

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APA

Du, X., Zhang, Y., Tian, Y., Huang, W., Wu, B., & Zhang, J. (2015). The influence of spatial ability and experience on performance during spaceship rendezvous and docking. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00955

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