David Dinges, PhD, chief of the division of Chronobiology and professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Penn Medicine, will lead a U.S. scientific team as part of a simulated 520-day Mars mission simulation. The researchers will be monitoring the six crew members’ rest-activity cycles, performance and psychological responses to determine the extent to which sleep loss, fatigue, stress, mood changes and conflicts occur during the mission. The 520-day mission is broken into 250 days for the trip to Mars, 30 days on the surface, and 240 days for the return to Earth.
During the simulation, Dinges and his colleagues are using miniaturized wristwatch-like devices to measure crew members’ sleep-wake patterns and specially programmed computers with brief assessment tests to gather information throughout the mission on crew members’ performance and emotions.
For more information, see the press release from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), who is sponsoring the U.S. scientific research:
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