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Characterization of Psychological Risk, Overlap with Physical Health, and Associated Performance in Isolated, Confined, Extreme (ICE) Environments (NNX15AC13G)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Behavior and performance
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Anecdotal and empirical findings collected in space and other extreme environments continue to highlight the potential for psychological symptoms and conditions to degrade crew performance, increase conflict, and jeopardize mission success. Indeed, ‘negative reactions’ during periods of isolation, confinement, demanding work schedules, stimulus reduction, separation from loved ones, sleep deprivation, and a host of other stressors are more appropriately viewed as normative rather than pathogenic. Selection methods and countermeasures serve to mitigate some degree of psychological risk, but long-duration space flight will substantially extend exposure to these and other stressors. Previous research documenting psychological symptoms experienced during space flight and in other isolated and confined environments (ICE) provides evidence of a wide range of psychological and behavioral reactions. Unfortunately however, these collective data ultimately serve to raise more questions than answers. Differences in collection methods, types of symptoms/reactions assessed, psychological constructs examined, and timing and duration of measurements limit conclusions that can be drawn from this research. As a result, understanding of the discrete symptoms and conditions most likely to occur during space flight and thus, ability to quantify the magnitude, probability, or consequences of such risk remains inadequate.

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Adaptation, psychological

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Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in Progress. Some restricted access data exist for this experiment.
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Anxiety levels
Behavioral reactions
Distress tolerance
Psychological performance
Sleep loss

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress
HERA Campaign 3 01/26/2016 10/19/2016 Four 30-day missions

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

The Human Research Roadmap is located at:

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Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Jessica Keune
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2013-14 HERO NNJ13ZSA002N