European Isolation and Confinement Study
- S.L. Bonting, Goor, The Netherlands
The project was called the Isolation Study for European Manned Space Infrastructures, abbreviated ISEMSI. It was executed in the hyperbaric chamber facility of the Norwegian Underwater Technology Center (NUTEC), Bergen, Norway in September/October 1990. Six carefully selected men, called the EMSInauts, were confined in the chamber for a period of 28 days. The isolation period was preceded by a training period of two weeks, the pre-isolation period, during which baseline data on the subjects were obtained. It was followed by a recovery period, the post-isolation period, during which further tests were performed outside the chamber.
The primary aim of ISEMSI was to obtain information on the psychological and physiological 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 simulation was designed to be as realistic as possible, except for the absence of weightlessness. This implied that the EMSInauts were given a considerable workload of tasks to be performed each day of the experimental period. The workload consisted of questionnaires and tests of a psychological and physiological nature, of housekeeping duties, and of additional space-related experiments. The nature and the results of their activities are described in thirteen chapters of this volume. In addition there is an introductory chapter by the head of the Long-Term Program Office, ESA, and chapters about Russian and American isolation studies of a similar nature.
Together this material should offer the reader a rather comprehensive view of the psychophysiological aspects of the confinement and isolation inherent in long-term space missions; missions which may be expected to become common-place in decades ahead. The list of contents indicates the wide range of topics studied: group functioning and communication; spatial behavior; workload and stress; mental performance; cognitive fatigue; attention; sleep quality; and physiological aspects, such as water and salt turnover, cardiac function, hormones and electrolytes, orthostatic function, and immune function. The additional experiments cover important topics such as telemedical treatment, telescience, and microbial and chemical contamination monitoring.The results of this study and further studies of this nature should not only benefit future astronauts and help 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: February 1994
- Imprint: ELSEVIER
- ISBN: 978-1-55938-410-0