Exploration Class Missions on Earth: Lessons Learnt from Life in Extreme Antarctic Isolation and Confinement

  • Alex P. SalamEmail author


Concordia Antarctic research station is one of the most isolated research stations on the planet and shares many stressor characteristics with long duration–deep space missions (LDDS). I spent a year at the Concordia in 2009 as a researcher in human biology and medicine for the European Space Agency, investigating the consequences of chronic stress on immunity and sleep. I discuss my experience and offer some brief thoughts on the parallels with LDDS missions.



Special thanks go to the DC5 winter crew, my friends, and colleagues during the winter. Loredana Bessone was hugely helpful in providing support to the entire crew during the DC5 winter-over, and the crew of the ISS expedition 20 mission were also incredibly kind in sharing their experiences with the DC5 winter crew. I would also like to acknowledge the NASA Behavioral Health and Performance Group, in which my involvement has helped clarify and crystallize some of the thoughts documented in this chapter. Finally I would like to thank Dr. Alexander Choukér, Dr. Brian Crucian, Dr. Clarence Sams, and Dr. Oliver Angerer for having faith in my scientific and technical abilities in isolation and confinement.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nuffield Department of MedicineUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Institut Polaire Emile Victor (French Polar Institute)PlouzaneFrance

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