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Sol Journal for October 11th

October 11, 2016

Human factors

This report was filed by Anastasiya Stepanova- Crew Journalist

In the normal life people encounter each other all the time. The variety of our species is around 9 billion. Of course, we don’t meet all those 9 billion of people, but we do bump into somebody different almost every day. Here at Mars station we meet only seven “new” people every day. Yes, even though our crew will not change in the next three months but each of us will experience the inner transformations. This is almost as the same as meeting someone new, just in the same body. The inner work of each crew member can be seen in the weekly tests we take under the human factor research of Institute of Biomedical Problems (Russia). They have rich experience of isolation experiments, probably you have heard of Mars 500. It was several years ago, when 6 men were simulating a flight to Mars, which lasted 500 days. The mission Mars 160 is not about isolation itself, but about extensive science field work. So basically we are not stuck in the can, we can go to the greenhouse, science laboratory and of course, explore Mars in space suits. For IBMP (Institute of Biomedical Problems) our case was extraordinary and something new among isolation missions. The research consists of 9 different tests, which can be generalized by the title “Cognitive Psychology and the Psychology of Small Groups”. Astronauts on International Space Station took most of those tests. It amazes me, every time I’m doing the test, I imagine an astronaut, looking at the Earth from 400 km height, floating in microgravity and thinking “what does those psychologists want?”. For us it is interesting way to look at ourselves from a different perspective and opportunity to learn more.