The P. H. O. S. E. Design A Tool to Pursue Psychological Health during Long Duration Space Missions



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The Psychological Health and Operational Simulation Environment (PHOSE) design looks to use Augmented Reality equipment and sensory technologies to build a psychologically enriching environment as well as training environments. Through virtual experiences, users would be able to mimic a large variety of creative outlets without having to jeopardize their storage or their environment. By realistically mimicking environmental factors, the PHOSE would be able to accurately replicate mission operations as well to allow the crew members to run through tasks for their limited time on the red planet. The biggest factor for space mission success is the crew that is participating in the mission. With so many influences that deteriorate the space crews’ mental health over time, there need to be strong psychological countermeasures to maintain mental wellness throughout the entire mission. Throughout human history, creative outlets have helped people through daily life and extreme situations by relieving psychological stress. Outlets such as painting, baking, and dancing have all become powerful tools for positive mental health. During long-duration missions, however, astronauts will not have the luxury of excess storage for a variety of creative outlets. Not all outlets and art forms may work in a zero-gravity environment. Depending on the materials, some art mediums may even be harmful in contained environmental conditions. One of the eight main sources of mental stressors in space, identified by NASA researchers, is mission readiness. Being prepared for the next phase of the mission or being ready for emergency procedures is a big boost in stabilizing an astronaut’s mental health. Therefore, there needs to be a way to recreate these activities that stimulate positive mental health in a manner that does not occupy too much storage but also mimics the familiarity of these creative outlets here on earth and mission requirements on the Martian surface. That is where the PHOSE design fulfills the gap in the astronauts’ well-being.



Psychological health, Space Architecture, Long-duration space missions, Mental well-being, Training, Creative outlets, Simulations, New technology