Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-2242
2000-07-10

The Influence of Scent on Mental Health on Long Duration Space Flights 2000-01-2242

One of the goals of the ICES conference is to highlight developments in Life Support Systems. Furthermore this paper addresses the requirement of the necessity of a development rather than its results
In the early days of space flight a life support system had to supply the astronaut with breathable air at an acceptable temperature. In the era of Apollo missions nutrition and waste management were added. Until now physical/chemical Life Support Systems (LSS) are the baseline of all existing LSS in space.
These apparatuses are able to keep a person in acceptable bodily health even for many months in flight. The issue of mental health of humans on long duration flights has become even more important since the Mir space station allowed such flights. The mental stress is reduced by psychological help from the ground crew.
For longer flights, to Moon and Mars, spacecraft based methods are needed. Sources of help well known to all of us are music, pictures, videos and food.
Amongst experts the psychological influence of repulsive or pleasant smell is a fact.
The technical background of scent generators is well-known. Initial ground application is under way. The scientific and technical basis for use in space still has to be developed.
Scent treatment is one of the few ways to keep humans mentally strong million of miles away from home.

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