Stress Research

For astronauts on long-duration exploration missions, the risks of having a ‘bad day’ are too high, and the adverse behavioral conditions that often accompany a bad day are critical hazards to mission performance. Researchers at Purdue University are quantifying both the psychological and biological stress levels of crew members throughout HI-SEAS long-duration exploration missions by analyzing: 1) behavioral indicators of stress measured with wearable devices tracking activity levels, resting heart rate, and sleep patterns, 2) biological markers of stress that are quantifiable in hair and urine samples, and 3) weekly questionnaires asking crew members for subjective impressions of the frequency and intensity of stress that they have experienced. Together, these data coupled with analytics can help improve our scientific understanding of how stress impacts health and performance on Earth and Mars alike. 


Contact: Jocelyn Dunn, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.