Work was carried out with NASA since the early 1980’s on several Shuttle and MIR missions, as well as on ground-based research. Various NASA centres were involved: Marshall Space Flight Center – MSFC, Kennedy Spaceflight Center – KSC, Johnson Spaceflight Center – JSC, Dryden Flight Research Center – DFRC, NASA Ames Research Center – ARC.
Marshall Space Flight Center – MSFC
Based at MSFC in Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville Alabama, the work involved organisation and hands-on training of the astronaut crew for Spacelab-1 (STS-9) and Spacelab-D1 (STS-61A) missions. The training covered all the European vestibular experiments, for which Dr Kass was responsible for the crew procedures and crew training.
Kennedy Spaceflight Center – KSC
Based at KSC in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the work involved setting up and carrying out pre-mission and post-mission baseline data collection for Spacelab-1 (STS-9) and Spacelab-D1 (STS-61A) missions. These ground measurements, organized and headed by Dr Kass with a team of scientists, were carried out on the astronaut crew in the context of the European vestibular experiments; they were similar to the flight experiments, and were run at several intervals before and after the missions.
Also operated at KSC from Patrick Air Force Base in Cape Canaveral, is NASA’s KC135 parabolic flight aircraft, which was frequently used there to test the neuro-physiological experiments in reduced gravity conditions.
Johnson Spaceflight Center – JSC
Based at JSC in Houston, Texas, the work involved mission operations for Spacelab-1 (STS-9) and Spacelab-D1 (STS-61A) missions. Dr Kass headed the scientific mission operations team for the European vestibular experiments, and was in direct communication with the astronauts during these lengthy experiments; together with their American counterpart experiments, these were by far the longest experiments with respect to use of crew time, on these missions.
JSC is also home base for NASA’s KC135 parabolic flight aircraft, which was frequently used to test the neuro-physiological experiments in reduced gravity conditions.
Dryden Flight Research Center – DFRC
Based at DFRC in Edwards Air Force Base – EAFB (near Lancaster, California) was used for the early Space Shuttle missions, because of the long landing runway and the good weather conditions. Both Spacelab-1 (STS-9) and Spacelab-D1 (STS-61A) Shuttle missions landed here, requiring the setting up of a temporary baseline data collection facility for carrying out physiological measurements on the astronaut crew immediately after landing. Dr Kass was responsible for organizing and carrying this out for the European vestibular experiments, after which US Air Force planes flew the teams of astronauts and scientists from the base directly to Kennedy Spaceflight Center – KSC, for the continuation of measurements during the following days.
NASA Ames Research Center – ARC
Research was carried out in the domain of group behaviour, in collaboration with NASA Ames Research Center, and Concordia University, Montreal, where Dr Kass has been an associate adjunct professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences.