Encyclopedia of Bioastronautics

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurence R. Young, Jeffrey P. Sutton

Behavioral Challenges of Space Exploration

  • Jack W. StusterEmail author
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10152-1_34-2


Behavioral Challenges of Space Exploration refers to the factors that either contribute to or impede successful and sustained adjustment to the conditions. Those conditions include, but are not limited to, isolation and confinement; constant proximity of other personnel; restricted choices; absence of gravity; hostile outside environment; and, risk of death from imperfect planning, equipment failure, human error, or a catastrophic event, such as a micrometeoroid strike or solar radiation exposure.


The history of exploration contains many examples of serious psychological problems in response to the isolation, confinement, and other stressors of expedition life. Accounts of Adolphus Greely’s disastrous Lady Franklin Bay Expedition , from which only 6 of 25 returned in 1884, affected all subsequent polar explorers. The stories of insanity and cannibalism among the Greely party were known by the members of the Belgian Antarctic Expedition 13 years later when they...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anacapa Sciences, IncSanta BarbaraUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • David F. Dinges
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA