Introduction: Homo Spatius (02:12)
Astronauts are dreamers of new worlds and guinea pigs of science. In this program, a cross-section of astronauts describes the physiological and psychological upheaval caused by space travel.
Adjusting to Zero Gravity (03:01)
The body quickly reminds space travelers that it is not adapted to life without gravity. Aleksandr Lazutkin, Anna Fisher, and other astronauts describe their experiences with nausea. The scale for measuring sickness is based on Jake Garn.
Three Dimensions in Space (03:22)
The inner ear cannot indicate verticality without the anchor of gravity, but the part of the brain that handles balance turns itself off and nausea declines. Astronauts must rely on their sense of sight to understand position.
Physiological Effects in Space (03:44)
Lazutkin recalls going to sleep in agony and waking up fine. Astronauts say weightlessness feels pleasant, all tension is released from the body, but muscles become extraneous and start to atrophy. Space travelers are required to exercise.
Recovering from Zero Gravity (04:35)
In orbit, astronauts undergo extensive testing to inventory the physical problems caused by time in space. Upon return to Earth, they need physical assistance to move around; no one will be there to help on Mars.
Overview Effect (03:32)
Astronauts recall their first view of Earth from orbit. Psychologists have named the psychological impact on the human psyche of viewing the world against a background of infinity.
Space Life Support (07:36)
Oxygen and water circulate almost endlessly on the International Space Station. The sterile, artificial setting and separation from the Earth can greatly impact morale.
Transmissions from Space (04:58)
Real-time conversations with Earth will be impossible for those who travel to Mars; messages will take about 20 minutes to reach recipients. Astronaut Jean-Pierre Haigneré describes the radio system he used to contact his wife from orbit.
Integrated Crews (03:45)
Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya is the first woman to join a co-ed crew in space. Valentin Lebedev calls going into orbit with women “a complicated issue.” Fisher and Cady Coleman are among the few women to reach outer space. Human intercourse in space has not been studied.
East-West Teamwork (03:50)
Following the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States develop a common space program. Jerry Linenger and Lazutkin recall fighting a fire together aboard the Mir Space Station.
Leaving Earth's Gravity (06:19)
The crew aboard the first manned mission to Mars will face new physical and psychological challenges. What will be the psychological impact will seeing Earth disappear? Can they survive exposure to solar radiation?
Floating in Space (05:51)
The ultimate space travel experience is to get out of the spacecraft. Linenger recalls the visceral thrill of his first spacewalk with Lazutkin, who monitored his progress.
Credits: Homo Spatius (00:54)
Credits: Homo Spatius
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