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How do astronauts deal with difficult situations? Do they get scared?


Uploaded on October 25, 2022


How do astronauts deal with difficult situations? Do they get scared?

2022-10-25 – European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti discusses how astronauts deal with difficult or dangerous situations in space. She also explains that while astronauts can get scared, their extensive training helps the crew manage fear.

Samantha answered a series of questions related to mental health while aboard the International Space Station in support of the CSA’s Space Brain Hack. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA, European Space Agency)


Astronauts are human beings, and if we are in a scary situation in which we are really afraid for our safety or our life, of course we would be scared.

But at the same time, we are in an environment that we are trained to be familiar with.

As unfamiliar as it can be overall for human beings to think about living in space, this is really the environment that we train for years to operate in.

So for the majority of situations that, in principle, would be dangerous and scary, we have, I guess, a trained response.

And so I think that even before you can think about being scared, you will just automatically get into your trained response and act.

As long as your brain is focused on taking action and you feel that you have something that you can do to keep yourself safe, then I think there’s probably not a lot of space, like cognitive space and emotional space to be scared right there in that moment.


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