Uploaded on October 25, 2022
What would be the most difficult mental aspects of future long missions?
2022-10-25 – European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti shares her thoughts on what some of the most difficult aspects related to mental health could be on future long-duration and long-distance missions, including isolation and boredom.
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, European Space Agency, NASA)
Future long-duration missions are going to be a lot more challenging than living on ISS from a mental health perspective.
The further you go away from Earth, the less you have an opportunity of connection and communication with your friends and your loved ones.
The delays become significant so that, you know, real-time communication at some point becomes very difficult.
Probably the physical distance also can have an effect in making you feel, you know, far and isolated.
At the same time, I think that a long journey on a small vessel, for example, to get to Mars is going to be potentially challenging also in terms of boredom.
So they will have to come up with something for crew members to do on the way there.
Here on the Space Station, we are like super busy all the time, but we have a gigantic space station where there is an enormous amount of activity going on every day.
And so if anything, we are like rushing to get everything done that needs to get done.
But I can imagine that on a small transit vehicle that is really meant only for that, transit, on a normal day where, you know, nothing breaks and there is no emergency, it can become challenging to keep people mentally active and busy.
Space is going to be a lot more constrained, so issues of, you know, living together in a harmonious way are going to be more prominent than they are here on Space Station where we have plenty of space and, you know, if we need to we can find privacy and space to retire and be on our own.