What Went Wrong on the Way to the Future

Judging by predictions made over the past four decades, as of right now shuttles should have undertaken hundreds of flights the ISS should have been operational for years we should have returned to the Moon and we should be on the verge of setting off for Mars, if not already settled there. In actuality the excitement and promise of the 1960s space program is a faint memory, and many predictions about how spacefaring would be in the year 2000 have been wrong.2 Instead of a continuing series of...

Stress and Coping

July 16 in History Between Heaven and Earth, CNI News, vol. 5, no. 10, pt. 2 (July 16, 1999), p. 4. 2. Neil Armstrong Says He Had No Script for First Words on Moon, Sacramento Bee, July 17, 1999, p. A12. 3. William Pogue, How Do You Go to the Bathroom in Space (New York Tor Books, Tom Doherty Associates, 1991). 4. Bryan Burrough, Dragonfly NASA and the Crisis aboard Mir (New York HarperCollins, 1998). 5. Philip R. Harris, Living and Working in Space Human Behavior, Culture, and Organization, 2d...

Selection and Training

Boeing Defense and Space Group, The Space Station It's about Life on Earth (n.p., n.d.). 2. Paul W. Caro, Flight Training and Simulation, in Human Factors in Aviation, ed. Earl L. Wiener and David C. Nagel (San Diego, Calif. Academic Press, i988), pp. 229-63. 3. Louis F. Fogg and Robert M. Rose, Use of Personal Characteristics in the Selection of Astronauts, Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine 66 (1995) 199-205. 4. NASA Selects 25 Astronaut Candidates Do Any Live in Your Home Town Final...

Off Duty

Harland, The Mir Space Station A Precursor to Space Colonization (Chichester, U.K. Wiley-Praxis, 1997), p. 133. 2. Marshall Savage, The Millennial Project Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps (Boston Little, Brown, 1994). 3. Anthony R. Curtis, ed., Space Almanac, 2d ed. (Houston Gulf Publishing, 1992), p. 172. 4. Jack Stuster, Bold Endeavors Lessons from Polar and Space Explorations (Annapolis, Md. Naval Institute Press, 1996). 5. Noel Mostert, Supership (New York Knopf, 1974). 6....

Functional Aesthetics

An aesthetic design one that is beautiful, in good taste, artistic may seem unnecessary for a highly motivated, task-oriented group such as spacefarers. However, as Yvonne Clearwater and her associates point out, aesthetics is not merely a matter of satisfying personal tastes. Functional aesthetics refers to design elements that counter some of the less positive aspects of living in space and that are intended to boost space-farers' performance and morale.26 Microgravity enables design...

Space Tourism

Although as a paid passenger Toyohiro Akiyama had the assignment of accumulating videotape and broadcasting live during the ten-minute periods when Mir was in television contact with Japan, David M. Har-land proposes that as the first fee-paying visitor to Mir, Akiyama qualified as a space tourist. The stereotyped Japanese tourist, Harland writes, Akiyama brought with him half a dozen cameras and a hundred rolls of film to augment the several hundred kilograms of television equipment that had...

Life on the High Frontier

Many proposals for space colonies are beautifully written and lavishly illustrated. Based on a combination of science and art, they are mixtures of reality and wish. They offer the lure of a better life, including pleasant surroundings, improved political forms that thoughtfully balance the needs of the individual and community, supportive social relations that rest on personal trust and caring, tremendous individual freedom, and increased opportunity to find happiness and material wealth....

The Spacefarers Tool

Although the view that people are the only tool users was demolished long ago, we humans seem unparalleled in our ability to create artifacts that permit us to survive, flourish, and amuse ourselves. Tiny implements and heavy earthmoving and construction equipment represent a continuation of a long-term trend. Pulleys, levers, and wedges arranged in endless variety supplement the strength of our arms and increase the mobility conferred by our legs. In the past, water and wind augmented our...

Group Structure and Process

Group structure defines the relationships among different members of the group. It prescribes their social roles (rights, obligations, and ways of behaving) and determines their social status, that is, the esteem in which they are held by others. Social structure is evidenced in organizational charts, policies, and regulations official job descriptions and informal rules regarding how things should be done. Group processes such as communication and decision making are channeled by structure and...

Knowledge Motives

We have the time and intellectual resources to generate and disseminate knowledge. Since antiquity, our ancestors have wondered about the heavens, and over the past few centuries we have developed the tools to help satisfy our curiosity. Space exploration teaches us about the universe. Over the years, space programs have sponsored far-ranging theoretical and applied research, and they have given us wonderful tools for engaging people's interests in science.5...

Spacecraft and Habitats

Space habitats are the places in which people live in space. There are two types nonplanetary (spacecraft, satellites) and planetary. They must be built right and built to last despite incredibly harsh environmental conditions. We cannot risk failures or set the stage for an endless parade of makeshift repairs. Engineering and economic considerations limit the size, design, and provisioning of space habitats, and there are necessary trade-offs between cost and comfort. Mass is of overwhelming...

Visions of the Future

Until the close of the nineteenth century, the Western frontier absorbed population growth and offered people hope and renewal. Today, space beckons as the new frontier. If only we could tap them, space has the resources to give billions of people, including those accustomed to poverty, a comfortable life. Space hospitals and retirement homes could offer older people sanctuaries where microgravity reduces the burdens on their bodies and allows them to discard walkers and canes. Space prisons...

Star Flight

The challenge of interstellar travel is covering immense distances within a time frame that keeps the journey meaningful. We have already launched interstellar probes. Pioneer 10 and 11 and Voyager 1 and 2 have completed their work within our solar system and will make their closest approach to other stars as early as 32,600 or as late as 497,000 years from now.2 Since their primary function is to explore our solar system, they are not taking the most direct route to our nearest neighbor. If we...

Leisure Time Activities

Apart from working and trying to sleep, there isn't all that much to do in space. Even as early as Gemini and Apollo, astronauts reported occasional boredom. At this point in the history of spaceflight, there are not a lot of recreational opportunities. Spacefarers exercise, work, look out the window, then exercise again. Like everyone else, spacefarers need ample opportunity to kick back, relax, and do nothing. Although it may seem that time given to self-contemplation and reverie is wasted,...

Group Dynamics

Eugene Cernan and Don Davis, Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America's Race in Space The Last Astronaut on the Moon (New York St. Martin's Press, 1999), p. 253. 2. Seward Smith, Studies of Groups in Confinement, in Sensory Deprivation Fifteen Years of Research, ed. J. P. Zubeck (New York Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1969), pp. 374-403. 3. R. E. Doll and E. K. E. Gunderson, Group Size, Occupational Status, and Psychological Symptomatology in an Extreme Environment, Journal of Clinical Psychology 27...