Offworld Mental Health: Considerations For The Design Of Well-Being Supportive Technologies For Deep Space Exploration

23 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2022

See all articles by Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith

University of Manchester

Dorian Peters

University of Cambridge

Caroline Jay

University of Manchester

Emma Barrett

University of Manchester

Gro Sandal

University of Bergen

Robert Wuebker

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business

Date Written: August 23, 2022

Abstract

During future long duration space exploration missions, humans will be exposed to combinations of extreme physical, psychological, and interpersonal demands. These demands create risks for safety, performance, health, and wellbeing of both individuals and crew. The communication latency in deep space means that explorers will increasingly have to operate independently and take responsibility for their own self-care and self-management. At present, several research programmes are focused on developing and testing digital technologies and countermeasures that support the effective functioning of deep space crews. Although promising, these initiatives have been stimulated mostly by technological opportunity rather than cogent theory. In this perspective, we argue that digital technologies developed for spaceflight should be informed by wellbeing supportive design principles and be cognisant of broader conversations around the development and use of digital health applications, especially pertaining to issues of autonomy, privacy, and trust. These issues are important for designing potentially mission critical health technologies and may be determining factors in the safe and successful completion of future off-world endeavours.

Keywords: Extreme Teams, Space Exploration, Well-Being, Digital Health Applications

Suggested Citation

Smith, Nathan and Peters, Dorian and Jay, Caroline and Barrett, Emma and Sandal, Gro and Wuebker, Robert, Offworld Mental Health: Considerations For The Design Of Well-Being Supportive Technologies For Deep Space Exploration (August 23, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4198483 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4198483

Nathan Smith (Contact Author)

University of Manchester ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, N/A M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Dorian Peters

University of Cambridge

Caroline Jay

University of Manchester ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, N/A M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Emma Barrett

University of Manchester ( email )

Gro Sandal

University of Bergen ( email )

Mus├ęplassen 1
N-5008 Bergen, +47 55 58
Norway

Robert Wuebker

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business ( email )

1645 East Campus Circle Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9304
United States

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