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posted by Dopefish on Friday April 04 2014, @06:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the at-least-women-will-live-on-venus dept.

When astronauts first began flying in space, NASA worried about "space madness," a mental malady they thought might arise from humans experiencing microgravity and claustrophobic isolation inside of a cramped spacecraft high above the Earth. Now Megan Garber writes in The Atlantic that NASA is hoping to find out what life on Mars does to the human emotional state by putting three men and three women in a 1,000-square-foot habitat shaped like a dome for four months. The volunteers in the second HI-SEAS mission a purposely tiny group selected out of a group of 700 applicants include, among others, a neuropsychologist, an aerospace engineer, and an Air Force veteran who is studying human factors in aviation. "We're going to stress them," says Kim Binsted, the project's principal investigator. "That's the nature of the study."

That test involves isolating the crew in the same way they'd be isolated on Mars. The only communication they'll be allowed with the outside world-that is to say, with their family and friends-will be conducted through email. (And that will be given an artificial delay of 20 minutes to simulate the lag involved in Mars-to-Earth communications.) If that doesn't seem too stressful, here's another source of stress: Each mission member will get only eight minutes of shower time ... per week. The stress will be compounded by the fact that the only time the crew will be able to leave their habitat-yurt is when they're wearing puffy, insulated uniforms that simulate space suits in the Hawaiian heat. Throughout the mission, researchers will be testing the subjects' moods and the changes they exhibit in their relationships with each other. They'll also be examining the crew members' cognitive skills, seeing whether-and how-they change as the experiment wears on. Binsted says the mission has gotten the attention of the TV world, but don't expect to see much inside-the-dome footage. "You wouldn't believe the number of producers who called us," says Binsted. "Fortunately, we're not ethically allowed to subject our crew to that kind of thing."

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by rts008 on Friday April 04 2014, @09:42PM

    by rts008 (3001) on Friday April 04 2014, @09:42PM (#26413)

    ...whack em over the head with a belaying pin and put em on board.

    I wonder how many people even know what a belaying pin is nowadays?

    My goodness have we become that wussified as a species in the past couple of hundred years? /half kidding

    I would say yes from my observations of events here(USA) since '9/11'.

    The closest we have came to facing hardship and threats to our survival(real or imagined) since Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, was the Cold War, until '9/11.
    We became complacent and soft not having to face much physical adversity that threatens our survival as a society/nation. Modern life has become much safer and easier overall, and we get 'out of shape' and 'out of practice' not having to fight so hard to survive. It happens everywhere, and seems to be a natural trait(or at least common) of our species.

    Similar to an athlete, if you just sit back and relax, you get 'out of shape' and 'out of practice'.

    And that just reinforces your point about the study being safe will affect the behavior of the participants.
    There is no 'real threat' to their survival, and that will make a huge difference.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 05 2014, @12:54AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 05 2014, @12:54AM (#26479)

    belaying pin
    You, sir, are a sociopath.

    (Score:3, Insightful)
    Apparently, there are others of your aberrant ilk.

    I would say yes
    Your lack of empathy for your fellow human has me wondering about you as well.
    My reaction to the GP was significantly different.
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights []
    Welcome to the 21st Century. Make an effort to fit in.

    -- gewg_

    • (Score: 2) by bucc5062 on Sunday April 06 2014, @12:46PM

      by bucc5062 (699) on Sunday April 06 2014, @12:46PM (#27045)

      Actually, I am not. I do read and have an imagination and use it from time to time.

      If you remember your history, sailing ships were, at times, manned in such a manner. It was not right, but it happened. I was injecting humor figuring people would understand that using a belaying pin is not the proper approach. These days I figure a corporation my just take all your money and give you a choice of lifetime poverty, death, or travel into space as an "Explorer".

      As Gishzida pointed out, we need to have a frontier and like any/all frontiers, it is not a safe place to be, but one that certain kind of people may want to experience. We need to explore or we will implode. If you ever read any of my other posts or ever bothered to ask you'd find I am very empathic to my fellow humans. I am saddened by the true sociopaths that are tearing down civilization either through violence, economics, or education. To comment on your post, they truly violate the Declaration of human rights whilst I was merely joking about a very old reference to forced travel.

      Right now, today if volunteers/workers/thrill seekers were asked to go and explore Mars, the solar system, to build refineries and ways to mine resources the line would stretch around the world. We don't need the elite doing things, we need people doing things. SO stop being so knee jerk in a response and try to read in the context of the voice and topic. Its less stressful and less mean that way.

      And I am doing okay, since you were wondering. A little stressed over some life decisions, want to buy a farm? Thanks for the invite, but I've been here a while.

      The more things change, the more they look the same
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09 2014, @07:54AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09 2014, @07:54AM (#28648)

        sailing ships were, at times
        Sailing ships haven't been a thing for over 150 years.
        In that time frame, it was also acceptable to own slaves and to beat them to death.
        It's time to move ahead.

        I was injecting humor figuring people would understand
        There's this thing... []
        It's been around since 1982.

        -- gewg_

        • (Score: 2) by bucc5062 on Wednesday April 09 2014, @10:16AM

          by bucc5062 (699) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @10:16AM (#28687)

          Oh come on, I looked back and even in my first post I mentioned I was kidding. If I had put a smiley face after that you'd think I was crazy and a sociopath so really, no matter what I did, I lose.

          You seem to take everything so literal. That has to be exhausting or an emotional roller coaster. I am starting to think you are a some bot or ALICE type of program. Lack of humor, literal understanding, short responses; it starts to make sense. You also post as AC so to remain hidden.


          The more things change, the more they look the same
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 11 2014, @06:54PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 11 2014, @06:54PM (#30207)

            You seem to take everything so literal
            Literally (It's an adverb.)
            Yes, the written word is something that I take seriously.

            You also post as AC
            Remaining AC reflects my disnterest in karma.
            You also couldn't say that with any certainty...

            so to remain hidden
            ...if I didn't SIGN each and every post that I make.

            -- gewg_