Mt. Vernon Register-News

CNHI Special Projects

January 9, 2013

Mars mission could turn astronauts into couch potatoes

(Continued)

The study's finding, reported online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was that the crew suffered from hypokinesis, meaning "they simply moved less," Dinges says. The volunteers moved less while awake and asleep, and spent more waking hours each day engaged in restful activities-playing video games, reading books, or watching movies. The crewmembers' wristwatches, which were equipped with light sensors, showed that the more lethargic they became, the more they shunned the lighted parts of the ship. By the final few months of the mission, three of the crewmembers slept about an hour more per day than they had at the beginning of the simulation.

The beds were small, recalls French crew member and flight engineer Romain Charles, and so narrow that he often had to sleep with his arm across his face. "I just had to learn to sleep like that," he says. But even though he adapted to the sleeping arrangements, it became difficult to take on intellectually laborious tasks, like improving his Russian language skills, in the final few months of the mission. Instead, he spent his spare time playing the video game Counter-Strike. "It really helped me get through that," Charles remembers.

It wasn't until the final 20 days of the mission that the crew, excited for their seclusion to finally end, became nearly as energetic as they were when the mission began.

These findings are important because a crew in space needs to be at peak performance to work competently and act quickly should an emergency strike, says psychologist Gloria Leon of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, who was not involved with the study. "What they're showing is that NASA and other organizations need to pay close attention to developing some measures that will prevent hypokinesis."

Text Only
CNHI Special Projects
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks