Monday , October 18 2021

Better interior design could keep astronauts healthier and happier in a deep space



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In terms of space ship interior design, engineers often prioritize aesthetics, focusing on materials and hardware that are both safe and effective to fulfill the vehicle's intended purpose. But some scientists say it's time to consider another important factor in designing space ships inside: how will this affect passenger behavior?

Astronauts traveling long distances – maybe on a trip to Mars – space ship interior design could be an essential tool to make people happy and healthy while traveling. The space is likely to be limited by any vehicle we send to the Red Planet; getting massive objects in space takes a lot of energy and money, so the interior of these vehicles could be tight. And the passengers will be stuck in the same group of people throughout the trip – a trip that could last for several years. All of these conditions could create a nightmare scenario for a person's psychological health, causing stress, poor sleep schedule, depression and other negative feelings that could affect their time in space.

That's why next week the new seminar is going to deal with this often overlooked aspect of space travel. An event called Space ^ 2 will bring together astronauts, healthcare professionals and design experts in Cambridge, Massachusetts to discuss what technologies and hardware deep space missions can incorporate into their spaceship to make interplanetary trips a more enjoyable experience. So far, astronauts have experienced short trips to space, usually lasting less than a year. For this reason, the interior of the spacecraft has changed around how to optimize the volume and make people less peaceful. And some experts say it needs to be changed.

"Not much has been done in terms of space ship design and interior design," says Dorit Donoviel, director of the Space Research Broadcasting Research Institute, and one of the conference organizers. The Verge. “It's really about where they want to put the levers, their displays, what materials they use to prevent the growth of bacteria. I do not think that there has been too much emphasis on some of the behavior of this interior environment or on the human side. ”

Unfortunately, there is not much research to guide engineers into the best space ship design to keep the astronauts in good spirits. This is because it can be difficult to remove the insulation studies. "These are challenging experiments to conduct ethically all parts of the world," says Louis Smith University Director of Healthy Air, Water and Soil, Ted Smith. The Verge. "Indeed, there is much more than we do not know how we know how social psychology and personal individual psychology deteriorates when conditions deteriorate."

However, some research has been done in this area to see how small groups of astronauts can last when they are held together with closed quarters. Over the past six years, the University of Hawaii has oversaw the simulated Mars tasks on the side of the active volcano Mauna Loa on Hawaii's Great Island. During these missions, small groups of people live together in a fake Mars habitat called HI-SEAS months, allowing scientists to better understand how people could interact when they visit a mission. (The owner of HI-SEAS is now planning to falsify the Moon in a habitat, now that NASA is targeting a return to the Moon.)

Between 2010 and 2011, Russia and Europe studied a crew of six, who lived on a simulated space ship for 520 days, and that was the approximate length of a human mission to fly around Mars. They only had a 775 square foot area for the whole experiment, about a small one-bedroom apartment. Investigators found that some at the end of the experiment stopped moving as much, but some experienced an increase in depressive symptoms, and most participants had unusual sleep schedules. One crew member no longer had a day / night sleep cycle.


Mars 500 study participants who stayed in the habitat for 520 days.
Picture: ESA

Some historical situations provide a context for what could happen to the mission on Mars. One Russian cosmonaut, Valentin Lebedev, wrote about his tense experience of spending 211 days on a small space station, which in 1982 received Salyut-7 with one other crew member. "This is a really convincing story because there were times when they didn't even talk to each other," says Jay Buckey, a former NASA astronaut and medical professor at Geisha Medical School. The Verge. In many expeditions to the Antarctica, scientists are located near the environment. Belgium, the first expedition to spend the winter on the continent at the end of the 1890s, witnessed fierce fighting when the ship got stuck in ice. The crew on board were unable to go much and many experienced serious mental health problems as a result of their experience. "They had a really high proportion of psychosocial problems, some of which could be due to the environment," says Buckey.

Finally, people are physical and visual people, says Donovan, and space travel can take away some of their basic viruses for individuals. In addition, the longer people stay on the spacecraft, the harder they can be. "It's a challenge to live with a small group of people for a long time, and there are certainly problems with stress, conflict and sometimes depression," says Buckey. For example, when NASA moved to a space shuttle mission that lasted only weeks, up to six months of stay at the International Space Station, the space agency said there were reports of astronauts experiencing a lot of psychological stress.

All of this will be far worse than mission to Mars than ISS representatives. The ISS has about 32,333 cubic meters of interior space, the volume of the Boeing 747, NASA says. This allows the crew to move a little more. But for Mars' mission, NASA has estimated that the minimum allowable human mission to the Red Planet will be about 883 cubic feet per person. The four-person team, which adds about 17 feet of the U-Haul trailer. Donoviel hopes that this figure will probably grow based on several behavioral studies. "Unless we introduce human requirements to engineers, we will be given a number that we will only have to live in, and I'm not sure it will be enough for health," she says.

Of course, there are others who want to go to Mars and make it a luxurious experience. SpaceX, a private space device, dreams of creating a wider vehicle, Starship, to take people to the Moon and Mars. During the presentation, SpaceX CEO El Musks said the vehicle's internal pressure was about the same as the ISS. And the company is known for its aesthetic valuation as much as it has in its designs, which could make things more pleasing to the eyes. However, SpaceX comes into the same isolation problem. Astronauts at an international space station can look at the window and see the Earth when they want it, feel the connection to home. The land will be just a spotted distance for those on Mars.


NASA astronaut Sunita Williams exercises virtual reality.
Picture: NASA

One of the ways experts think about fighting them is using virtual reality. VR headphones were given to crews for simulated HI-SEAS missions in Hawaii, showing them scenes from the Bavarian Alps and Australian beaches, which they liked, according to Buckey. Such technology could be a way for astronauts to temporarily avoid the daunting task of going to Mars.

Another problem with astronauts is that they will have to stay with the same group of people for so long. ISS astronauts rotate teams every few months so that they can work with different groups of people from time to time. Mars astronauts will not have this luxury. It is believed that this lack of diversity, as well as the lack of privacy, is the cause of stress, says Smith. "We think we can all do what we can to become very sensitive over time to make small anoyances from each other," says Smith. "There is ample evidence that we, as humans, need interaction with many other people and, by reducing these figures and keeping them constant, the variability we are looking for is hungry."

To combat this, engineers and designers may be able to introduce some perfumes and sounds in the cabin. "It turns out that there are some scents that make people feel like they are more closely connected with people and some smells that make you feel like you have a little more space between you and your peers," says Smith. In fact, the British Antarctic poll in Antarctica used a variety of cedar scents and bright colors to fight the blouse all winter. Smith also notes the possibility of creating synthetic people with visual walls or talk bots similar to Siri or Alexa.

There are no correct solutions to these problems yet, but Space ^ 2 could put engineers on the right track. "This is a great opportunity for us to think of the big and small things that we can give with us, and the things that are analogous and digital, which we can give together," says Smith. And while the human mission to Mars is still for many years, experts say it's time to think about how we can plan this space ship in advance. If you do not take into account behavioral health, side effects can be devastating to go into deep space.

“We really do not know how these people will respond to such a closed space. And the consequence is the loss of crew or loss of mission, ”says Donovan.

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