@misc{cogprints3967, title = {Participant Observation of a Mars Surface Habitat Mission Simulation}, author = {William J. Clancey}, year = {2004}, journal = {Habitation}, keywords = {analog simulation, activity-based analysis, small group behavior, ethnography, habitation}, url = {http://cogprints.org/3967/}, abstract = {For twelve days in April 2002 we performed a closed simulation in the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, isolated from other people, while exploring the area and sharing daily chores. Email provided our only means of contact; all mission-related messages were mediated by a remote mission support team. This protocol enabled a systematic and controlled study of crew activities, scheduling, and use of space. The study was primarily a methodological experiment in participant observation and work practice analysis, gathering quantitative data as part of an ethnographic study. The work practice analysis focused on two questions: Where did the time go{--}why did the crew feel rushed and unable to complete their work? How can we measure productivity, to compare habitat designs, schedules, roles, and tools? Analysis suggests that a simple scheduling change{--}having lunch and dinner earlier, plus eliminating afternoon meetings{--}increased the available productive time by 41\%. Furthermore, observation of work practices suggested how to eliminate direct use of GPS devices by the crew, illustrating how an ethnographic study can help produce dramatically new operations concepts.} }