ESA title
Science & Exploration

Scientific protocols

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ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Mars500

Adaptation, group structure and communications of confined and isolated crews: This protocol explores aspects linked to individual and social adaptation to isolated and confined conditions, investigating some psychological factors of the adaptation process, and some psychosocial issues related to group functioning and decision making. The aim is to better understand the psychological adaptation and its repercussions on social and organisational processes. Read more »»

Association between psychological and cardiac functioning in a confined population: Inactivity is likely to play a role in cardiovascular deconditioning during long-duration missions. Confinement could also produce emotional stress which could in turn lead to altered cardiovascular function and undermine the wellbeing of the crew. This study evaluates the effect of confinement and isolation on changes in the psychological wellbeing of the Mars 500 crew and looks to correlate any mood changes with changes in cardiac regulation and cardiopulmonary function. Read more »»

Clinical-physiological investigations for maintaining physical fitness and body composition by resistive vibration exercise: This investigation aims at maintaining the clinical- physiological functions of the postural and locomotor system by continuous training with the Galileo 2000 system and monitoring of physical fitness before, during, and after the isolation period within the chamber. Read more »»

Development and testing of an operational tool for learning, training and maintenance of space specific complex skills for object hand control with six degrees of freedom: The project proposes the development and testing of a prototype of software for educational training. The software leads participants step by step through scientifically constructed tasks to the required level of skills before confronting the subject with a complex spacecraft docking simulation to test object hand control. Read more »»

Evaluation of stress and immunity: Previous studies have shown a change in immune response in simulated weightlessness or confinement on Earth, and that mental stress is an influencing factor in this process. This project assesses the impact of long-term confinement on stress-associated immune responses and provide the basis for the development of pharmacological tools to counter unwanted immunological side effects during long-duration space missions. Read more »»

Effect of blue-enhanced light on alertness and sleep-wake behaviour: Insufficient background lighting could induce detrimental physiological changes, affecting sleep, performance and metabolism. Using stimulation by blue-enriched light, an evaluation is made of the cumulative effect of the visible light in the Mars500 isolation chamber on sleep-wake behaviour, sleep quality, subjective alertness levels, and circadian rhythms. Read more »»

Effects of group dynamics and loneliness on cognitive and emotional adaptation to extreme, confined environments: This study aims to understand if long-term spaceflights lead to stronger feelings of stress, for instance loneliness, and whether this might have an effect on performance and control in carrying out professional tasks. Read more »»

Influence of physical activity and dietary supplements on the serotonergic system and its implications on performance and mood: This study investigates the influence of exercise with and without dietary supplements on the serotonergic system (which plays a complex regulatory role in neurological activity) and determines the implications for mood and mental and motor performance. The supplements are branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) or Tryptophan (TRP), which are important dietary amino acids. Read more »»

Medical skill maintenance during long duration spaceflight: This protocol will make an assessment of retention of theoretical and manual medical skills, and an evaluation of refresher training courses at different times during the isolation study as an appropriate countermeasure against the loss of medical knowledge. Read more »»

Microbial ecology of confined habitats and human health: In this study the microbial population present and developing in the Mars500 habitat will be monitored. Microbial samples will be taken from all possible reservoirs of microbes. A product to counteract microbial contamination will be applied on some surfaces which will be monitored, and a microbial probiotic food product will be administered to some crew members to evaluate the effects on the mouth and intestinal microflora. Read more »»

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid and psychological wellness during long-duration space missions: Polyunsaturated fatty acids have important biological functions in the human body, the absence of which can cause such conditions as inflammation or depression. The aim of this study is to examine the level omega-3 fats in the blood of subjects in order to suggest a supplement that might enhance psychological wellbeing. Read more »»

Personal values on missions to Mars - implications for interpersonal compatibility and individual adaptation: During any future human exploration mission to the Moon and Mars, the psychological resilience of the crew will play a critical role for the maintenance of health and performance and hence the success of the mission. This project aims to determine the implications of personal values held by individual crewmembers for compatibility within the group as a whole or otherwise, and for individual coping strategies and adaptation during long lasting confinement. Read more »»

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