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Fri Sep 15, 2017, 03:06 AM

NASA space psychology subjects ending 8 months of isolation

HONOLULU -- After eight months of living in isolation on a remote Hawaii volcano, six NASA-backed research subjects will emerge from their Mars-like habitat on Sunday and return to civilization.

Their first order of business after subsiding on mostly freeze-dried and canned food: Feast on fresh-picked pineapple, papaya, mango, locally-grown vegetables and a fluffy, homemade egg strata cooked by their project's lead scientist.

The crew of four men and two women were quarantined on a vast plain below the summit of the world's largest active volcano in January. All of their communications with the outside world were subjected to a 20-minute delay the time it takes for signals to get from Mars to Earth.

They are part of a study designed to better understand the psychological impacts that a long-term manned mission to space would have on astronauts. The data they gathered will help NASA better pick crews that have certain traits and a better chance of doing well during a two-to-three year Mars expedition.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article173459726.html

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply NASA space psychology subjects ending 8 months of isolation (Original post)
TexasTowelie Sep 2017 OP
Rhiannon12866 Sep 2017 #1
Warren DeMontague Sep 2017 #2
Achilleaze Sep 2017 #6
Warren DeMontague Sep 2017 #8
ecstatic Sep 2017 #3
Warren DeMontague Sep 2017 #4
ecstatic Sep 2017 #5
Warren DeMontague Sep 2017 #7
Ilsa Sep 2017 #9
Achilleaze Sep 2017 #10
WhiskeyGrinder Sep 2017 #11

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 03:31 AM

1. I would be a very poor subject.

When I was in Moscow (USSR 1986), we visited the Exhibition for Economic Achievement - kinda like a permanent World's Fair - and the exhibit we chose was the space pavilion. It was very interesting, they obviously had done a lot early on with space exploration. But then the young female guide described how the cosmonaut had spent so long in space that his muscles had atrophied and needed to be carried off the spacecraft. Just hearing that made me feel kind of woozy and I had to go outside for some air...

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 03:37 AM

2. Due to Senator Ted Cruz's position on the Senate Science Subcomitte, he has some oversight with NASA

I suspect he could offer some personal suggestions on various forms of media and self-entertainment for those 8 months of isolation!

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 05:59 AM

6. The Cruz Pleasure Package*

* In full compliance with real (but closeted) republican values, not the fake republican "family values" as advertised.

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Response to Achilleaze (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 06:02 AM

8. Cruz Pleasure is an oxymoron

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!

edited to add: it's nowhere near that big in real life.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 03:45 AM

3. 2 to 3 years sounds like a prison sentence. First, the person has

to love what they do, but I don't think that's enough to get through 2+ years in isolation. I'm not trying to be offensive, but maybe they can setup a volunteer astronaut training program for model prisoners and offer that opportunity to people who prefer being in space over prison?

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 04:46 AM

4. These are people who are extremely dedicated and believe in what they're doing, and why.

It is kind of offensive to suggest that these scientists "should" be replaced by, I don't know, work release inmates or something.

You're casting about for a solution to a 'problem' which no one here is complaining about. A lot of people very strongly want humanity to get to other planets, and they're willing to make extensive personal sacrifices to achieve that goal.

None of these people are being forced into this gig.



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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 05:51 AM

5. I don't think it's possible due to psychological obstacles

This is obviously just my opinion... I love the idea of exploring Mars, but I'm a realist and I think the assignment would be akin to torture after around 12 months (probably a lot sooner).

Second, it's going to be hard for NASA to find passionate, enthusiastic researchers with perfect, even tempered personalities that blend well with the other personalities (who are also OK with leaving Earth for 2+ years). I saw one article where they said extroverts could be problematic, but introverts could be too because they wouldn't have the alone time they need.

2 to 3 years in a confined space with the same people and no escape? Maybe sets of romantically compatible couples could work? Really, the focus might need to be on finding a faster method of getting to Mars to cut the trip time down.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 05:59 AM

7. I'm not trying to soft-pedal the challenges, don't get me wrong.

It's something to consider, and obviously as per this experiment and others, NASA is.

Also worth noting, humans have logged extended time in space- 438 days for a Cosmonaut, and Scott Kelly did 350.

https://www.space.com/11337-human-spaceflight-records-50th-anniversary.html

The romantically compatible couple idea has been proposed more than once, and yeah, I think it makes sense on several levels. I'm fairly certain my wife is the only person on the planet who can stand to be around me for a super-extended period of time.

I just don't think this is the kind of situation where we need to be casting about for convicts to work off their 5 year sentence for pot smoking, or whatever we fill our prison cells for, by shipping them off to a bio-dome. Like I said, there are a lot of people who want to participate in this work. I couldn't do it, to be sure but there are many things I couldn't do.

As far as faster travel times, certainly that would change the dynamics of the trip in a big, and good way:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/02/nasas-longshot-bet-on-a-revolutionary-rocket-may-be-about-to-pay-off/



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Response to ecstatic (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 06:19 AM

9. I knew someone who would gladly go.

Science degree, pilot, extremely intelligent, easy-going personality. He would have been a wonderful choice, but he didn't have a specialty and advanced degree beyond piloting. He was younger then, and the only thing that kept him from volunteering (if he had had the other qualifications) was that he didn't want to miss his kids growing up.

I have no doubt that NASA can find volunteers willing to make the sacrifice. But yes, personality is important for a mission like this. You can't have six alphas, they have to be willing to work together to solve problems, cool under extreme pressure, flexible, etc.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #9)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 12:07 PM

10. There will always be those willing

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 12:09 PM

11. But...this is what they're studying.

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