• Question: How would your experience of a spacecraft like environment help prepare you for actual being up there or helping put someone up there?

    Asked by Sam to Beth on 16 Oct 2015.
    • Photo: Beth Healey

      Beth Healey answered on 16 Oct 2015:

      Hi 165trn29!!

      Spaceflight analogues like Concordia provide a great platform for us to conduct research so we can learn more about the effects of these stresses on astronauts and develop ways to overcome them!

      We can learn about some things here which aren’t yet possible in space but are features of longer duration spaceflight missions, (e.g. going to Mars). For example here at Concordia we are completely isolated for 9 months, even in case of emergency. That is because here the temperatures are too low for planes to fly during the winter. This is different to the ISS where astronauts can be quickly evacuated if they have a problems. However it is similar to what we would have to face if we were flying to Mars!

      In addition for research to tell us more it is useful to have more subjects (people taking part) too. This is because there is typically lot’s of individual variation in how we respond to things. So Concordia is useful for increasing the number of subjects we can study too. For example one of our big experiments that we are doing here is also taking place on the ISS currently. There aren’t enough astronaut subjects to give us good data, so we are doing it here too! This experiment is looking at cognititive abilitiy and Scott Kelly is participating in it: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1256.html