Advances in Space Biology and Medicine, Volume 5
- S.L. Bonting, Goor, The Netherlands
The aim was to come closer to a space station situation that in the ISEMSI mission. This was achieved by five measures: (1) crew selection was performed by the European Astronauts Centre (EAC), (2) duration was extended to 60 days, (3) mixed crew of three males and one female was employed, (4) isolation facility resembled a space station in size and in having separate habitat, laboratory and storage modules, and (5) communication between crew and outside world was like that between a space station and a ground control center.
The primary purpose of EXEMSI was to achieve a better understanding of the physiological, psychological, and sociological effects of long-term isolation and confinement of a small crew group under conditions similar to those that may be expected to exist for a space station crew. The secondary purpose was to acquire experience in the operational aspects of a future space station mission. Included were also items like verification of the test criteria for European astronaut selection, and study of the nutritional requirements of space station crews.
The workload of the crew consisted of an extensive battery of psychological and physiological experiments, of housekeeping duties, and of additional space-related experiments. The nature and the results of these activities are described in this volume. The list of contents indicates the wide range of topics studied: physiological aspects as body weight and body composition, hormonal and water balance, nutritional status, immune function, cardiovascular and respiratory function, brain electrical activity; psychological aspects as group dynamics and crew interaction, communication, spatial behaviour, work capability, mental performance and attention, and cognitive fatigue. Additional experiments cover important topics like telemedical diagnosis and treatment, telescience, and operation of an algal bioregeneration system. The volume is concluded by two chapters in which the lessons learned are critically considered.
This material should offer the reader a rather comprehensive view of the psychophysiological aspects of the confinement and isolation inherent in long-term space mission, missions which may be expected to become commonplace in the next decades. The results of this study and further studies of this nature should not only benefit future astronauts and assist those who are organizing long-term manned space missions, but should also be useful to investigators who are planning crew-operated experiments to be carried out during such missions.
- Published: May 1996
- Imprint: ELSEVIER
- ISBN: 978-1-55938-970-9