But the fluid freedom that non-gravity brings also introduces a number of limitations to the human body and mind.

Short spaceflights have evolved from the early Mercury and Apollo missions to at least six-month stays on the International Space Station. The floating lab has been the perfect backdrop for scientists trying to understand what really happens to every aspect of the human body in the cosmic environment – radiation, zero gravity, everything.

“What did the Earth miss the most after you left for a year?” asked Mason Kelly.

Of course, the weather. Rain, sun and wind, Kelly said. “And then I miss the people… that are important to you, you know, and to your family and friends.”

As NASA plans to return humans to the Moon and eventually land on Mars as part of the Artemis program, there is growing interest in understanding the effects that can occur from a long journey through deep space.

The big question that some scholars have asked is whether people are mentally and emotionally prepared for such a big leap. In short, how do we deal with it?

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And the Study 2021 He had the participants live for about two months in a simulation of weightlessness, resting in a special bed with their heads tilted at a 6-degree angle. The tilt causes the vertical shift of the body fluids experienced by astronauts under zero gravity.

Participants were regularly asked to complete the astronauts’ cognitive tests for memory, risk taking, emotional recognition, and spatial orientation.

The researchers wanted to see if trying artificial gravity for 30 minutes a day, all at once or in five-minute attacks, could prevent negative effects. While study participants experienced an initial cognitive decline on their tests, it stabilized and did not last for 60 days.

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But the speed with which they identified feelings generally worsened. During the tests, they noticed that facial expressions were more angry than happy or neutral.

Study author Matthias Basner, MD, professor of psychiatry at Penn. Faculty of medicine.

“The astronauts’ ability to correctly ‘read’ other people’s emotions will be of paramount importance for effective teamwork and mission success. Our findings suggest that their ability to do so may change over time.”

It was not clear in the study whether this impairment resulted from simulating the lack of gravity or the confinement and isolation that the participants experienced for 60 days.

A separate study 2021, published in Acta SpaceShe developed a mental health checklist based on the stressors faced by astronauts — which is also shared by those who spend months at research stations in Antarctica.

These two extreme environments—space and the edge of the world—lead to a lack of privacy, altered cycles of light and darkness, solitude, solitude, monotony, and prolonged separation from family and friends.

University of Houston psychology professor Candice Alfano and her team designed a self-assessment checklist to track these changes in mental health. The biggest change people experienced in the two Antarctic stations was a dip in positive emotions from the beginning to the end of their nine-month stay with no “rebound” effect, even as they prepared to return home.

Participants also used less effective strategies for promoting positive emotions.

“Interventions and countermeasures to promote positive emotions could be key to reducing psychological risks in extreme circumstances,” Alfano said.

Protecting explorers away from home

The main goal is to help astronauts stay sane during their outdoor adventure NASA’s Human Research Program. In the past, the program has developed countermeasures to help astronauts combat muscle and bone loss, such as daily exercise on a space station.

Scientists are actively exploring the idea of ​​how purposeful work might unite mission crews. When astronauts work As a team, whether it’s on a space station or in a Mars simulator environment on Earth, and their cooperation towards a common goal.

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And when they’re done, they can spend time together watching movies or enjoying fun activities to combat feelings of isolation.

However, a mission to Mars, which could take months or years, depending on the design of the spacecraft, can lead to a feeling of monotony and isolation. And the more frequent contact with the Mission Control Center and loved ones on Earth will be more stormy the further away from Earth.

Astronauts celebrate record-breaking chile harvest in space by taco night

“We need to make sure that we have some individual protocols and things that the crew has to do,” Alexandra Whitmer, a researcher with the Human Research Program, said in an interview with CNN in 2021. “It is very important for us to understand those who will be involved in this mission.”

While some crew members may bring excitement and fulfillment from working on science experiments, others may need to tinker with other tasks. Previous search is already selected The main functions that may be necessary in a space explorerLike self-reliance and problem solving.

One of the space station’s amazing discoveries is how eating – and growing plants – boosts crew morale while maintaining a very important tangible connection to home.

avoid & # 39;  time curve & # 39;  Life in space could help astronauts thrive on Mars
It is not surprising Food in space should be a safe and stable food source And it still tastes good. However, the active cultivation of vegetables was a rewarding and delicious experience for the previous crews on the space station.
The astronauts reported on the sincerity of caring for leafy plants, radishes and plants hatching Chili pepper And watching the plants bloom, which ultimately results in an edible treat.

Researchers at HRP wondered if this sense of complacency could go a step further. When astronauts are like Scott Kelly or Christina Koch has returned to Earth after long spaceflights and said they can’t wait to feel the rain or the ocean waves again.

Guided imagery and virtual reality capabilities could be a necessary part of future spaceflights to remind astronauts of their sensory connection to “blue marbleEven when he’s out of sight.
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