Astronauts face mental and emotional challenges for deep space travel. Scientists are working on solutions – CNN
The International Space Station has served as a backdrop for scientists trying to understand what truly happens to the human body in the space environment.
NASA and Weill Cornell Medicine conducted a study on Scott Kelly’s experience after spending nearly a year in space. The study found that Scott missed the weather and people on Earth.
NASA plans to return humans to the moon and Mars through the Artemis program. A big question is whether humans are mentally and emotionally prepared.
A study in 2021 had participants rest in a special bed with their heads tilted down at a 6-degree angle for nearly two months. They completed cognitive tests designed for astronauts to test if experiencing artificial gravity for 30 minutes per day could prevent negative effects.
A study suggests that astronauts’ ability to read each other’s emotional expressions may be impaired over time.
A 2021 study published in Acta Astronautica found that people spending months at research stations in Antarctica reported a decline in positive emotions and used fewer effective strategies to boost positive emotions.
NASA’s Human Research Program is developing countermeasures to help astronauts combat muscle and bone loss, and to combat feelings of isolation. One idea is to help astronauts work together toward a common goal.
The Human Research Program is studying the traits that may be necessary in deep space explorers, such as self-reliance and problem-solving.
Growing vegetables on the space station has been a rewarding and tasty experience for previous crews, but guided imagery and virtual reality capabilities may be necessary to remind astronauts of their sensory connection to “the blue marble” in the future.
For more insight on how astronauts are impacted by their travels, check out the news outlets listed below:
- Astronauts face mental and emotional challenges for deep space travel. Scientists are working on solutions CNN
- HealthWatch: Saving Astronaut’s Brains from Deep Space Radiation WFRV Local 5
- How does a year in space affect your health? CNN