The Alps and the beaches: elegant interior design will help people in deep space

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2019-02-05 01:15:18

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The Alps and the beaches: elegant interior design will help people in deep space

When it comes to the creation of an internal part of the spacecraft, engineers often prefer functionality, not aesthetics, focusing on materials and equipment that are safe and effective to accomplish the intended purpose of the vehicle. But some scientists say it is time to reconsider another important factor in the design of internal parts of the spacecraft: how interior design affects the behavior of passengers?

For the astronauts travelling great distances — for example, the trip to Mars, the interior design of the spacecraft may become critical to maintain a happy mood and a healthy spirit during the trip. On any ship that will travel to the red planet is likely cabins will be limited; print massive objects into space is very expensive and difficult, so the interiors of such vehicles should be close. And passengers will hang out with the same group of people for the entire trip, which can take years. All of these conditions can create a nightmare scenario for the psychological health of a person, cause stress, disrupt sleep, immersed in depression and cause other negative feelings that can affect space travel.

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Interior of the space station

That's why the seminar Space^2, which will be held next week, will consider this aspect of space travel that is often overlooked. The event will bring together astronauts, experts in health and experts in the field of design. All of this will take place in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On the agenda are the types of technologies and equipment that can be included in a mission in deep space to make interplanetary travel more enjoyable. To date, the astronauts, mainly go into space in a short trip to a year. Because of this, the interiors of the spacecraft are built around optimization of the volume and almost don't care about people. Experts believe that the time has come to change that.

"Not much was done from the point of view of design and interior of the spacecraft," says Dorit Dons, Director of Scientific research Institute of space health, one of the organizers of the conference. "Everything usually relates to the placement of the levers, displays, the type of materials used to prevent the spread of bacteria. I don't think the serious thought about the human side of behavior in such environments."

Unfortunately, almost no studies exist that would help engineers to select the best design of the spacecraft to maintain the astronauts in good spirits. Because research on the topic of isolation is a difficult task. "These are complex experiments that can be conducted ethically, not all parts of the world," says Ted Smith, Director of the Center for healthy air, water and soil at the University of Louisville. "In fact, we don't know much about how deteriorating social psychology and the psychology of the individual with the deterioration of environmental conditions".

And yet, some research in this area was carried out. They were dedicated to the study of how a small group of astronauts can live, being trapped in a confined space for long periods of time. In the past six years the University of Hawaii watched a simulated flight to Mars on one side of an active volcano Mauna Loa on the Big island of Hawaii. During these missions, a small group of people living together in fake Martian habitat HI-SEAS for several months, which allows scientists to better understand how people can interact during the flight to Mars. (The owner of HI-SEAS is now planning to carry out a fake mission to the moon in a habitat, because NASA was concerned by the return to the moon).

Between 2010 and 2011, Russia and Europe researching the life of the crew of six men, who lived together on the space ship simulator for 520 days, which is approximately the duration of the mission to Mars. During the experiment they had just 225 square meters. The researchers found that some ceased to move at the end of experiment, some increased symptoms of depression and the majority of the participants had lost sleep schedule. One of the crew members and lost cycles of day and night.

Some of the historical situation provides the context for what could happen on Mars. One Russian cosmonaut, Valentin Lebedev, wrote about his intense experience of spent 211 days in 1982, aboard a tiny space station "Salyut-7" together with another crew member. "It's a really compelling story, because there were periods of time when they didn't even talk to each other," says Jay Bucky, a former NASA astronaut and Professor of medicine at the Medical school Geisel. Numerous expeditions to Antarctica also put scientists in cramped conditions, surrounded by inhospitable environment. Belgica, the first expedition that spent the winter on the continent in the late 1890s years, has experienced considerable difficulty when the ship trapped in the ice. The crew on Board couldn't stay out too long, and many had serious mental health problems as a result of this experience. "They had a really high levelpsychosocial problems, some of which could be associated with the environment in which they are located," says Bucky.

In the end, people are creatures of skin and meat that get the most information in a visual form, says Dons, and space travel could deprive people of some of their familiar things. "It's hard to live with a small group of people over a long period of time, and definitely there are problems with stress, conflicts, and sometimes depression," says Bucky. For example, when NASA moved away from the use of space shuttles, flights which lasted only a few weeks to six months watches on the International space station, there were unconfirmed reports that the astronauts have a much greater psychological stress.

During a mission to Mars everything will be much worse than ISS. According to NASA, the inner area of the ISS is approximately 10,000 cubic meters, which is approximately equal to the volume of "Boeing-747". The crew is where to go. But for mission to Mars the minimum allowable volume should be approximately 200 cubic meters per person. For the crew of four is about four trailer. The dons hoped that through research of behaviour of people in space, this area will increase. "If we do not make demands on the engineers for people, we will receive a number which will have to put up with, and I'm not sure that it will be enough for health".

Of Course, there are others who would like to go to Mars and get a luxurious experience. Private space company SpaceX wants to create a more spacious vehicle, a spaceship to bring humans to the moon and Mars. During the presentation, CEO of SpaceX said that the internal volume of the transport will be the same as the ISS. And this company is known by the fact that value aesthetics and functionality in their projects, trying to make everything more pleasing to the eye. However, SpaceX is facing the same problem of isolation. Astronauts on the International space station can look out the window and see the Earth at any time, feeling a connection to the house. The earth is only a speck in the distance for those who will go to Mars.

Experts are thinking about how to overcome it using virtual reality. Headset virtual reality gave crews during simulation mission or HI-SEAS in Hawaii, where people were shown scenes from the Bavarian Alps and the beaches of Australia, and loved it. Such technology could help astronauts to survive the trip to Mars.

Another problem for astronauts is that they will have to stay with the same group of people over a long period of time. The astronauts on the ISS crews change every few months so they can from time to time to work with different groups of people. The astronauts on Mars that luxury will not. Smith believes that this lack of diversity combined with the lack of privacy is also considered a stress. "It's an experiment we can all conduct, how in a short time you can become irritable and intolerant in the presence of the same people," Smith said. "There is a lot of evidence that we humans need to communicate with many other people, and if you reduce those numbers, we look for changes in the circle."

To combat this, maybe the engineers and designers will have to introduce certain smells and sounds in the cockpit. "It turns out that there are certain smells that make people feel that they are surrounded by loved ones, and odors, which seemed to add space," says Smith. In fact, at a research station of the British Antarctic service in Antarctica used a variety of pine scents and bright colors to fight with the eternal blue of the winter. You can also add bots conversational, like Siri or Alexa.

While these issues are no right decisions, but the conference Space^2 would have to send engineers on the right path. "For us, this is a great chance to think about big and small things we can bring and things that will allow us to bring analog and digital signals," says Smith. And even though the mission of man on Mars for many years, experts suggest to think now so we can plan the projects of space ships. In the journey into deep space will have only one chance to do it successfully. Loss of crew or mission put an end to all.

And you would be able to survive a trip to Mars? Tell us .

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