Biomedical and behavioral issues

  • Erik Seedhouse
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


The annals of polar exploration are replete with accounts of explorers suffering from scurvy, starvation and vitamin toxicity. A number of these expeditions were also afflicted by depression, lethargy and disabling psychological events. While the dangers of malnutrition were an ever-present and, occasionally, life-threatening risk for early explorers, medical dangers such as radiation, bone demineralization and psychological dysfunction present risks equally, if not more, hazardous to those embarking on a voyage to the Red Planet. While the aforementioned medical conditions suffered by early polar explorers were caused by a lack of knowledge concerning nutrition and group dynamics, a similar fate may befall Mars explorers because scientists aren’t sure how crewmembers will be affected by radiation, bone loss or how they will respond to being isolated for more than two years. To better understand these risks, this chapter deals first with the primary biomedical risks and concludes with an assessment of the behavioral problems that may be encountered.


Bone Loss International Space Station Linear Energy Transfer Orthostatic Intolerance Martian Atmosphere 
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Copyright information

© Praxis Publishing Ltd. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Seedhouse
    • 1
  1. 1.MiltonCanada

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