Behavioral and health implications of civilian spaceflight.


The current enthusiasm over the prospect of space tourism and the belief among many that such civilian spaceflight is imminent are characterized herein. There are many concerns about screening and certifying passengers for future spaceflight. Efforts by several organizations to propose such screening are cited. The problem with some of these proposals, which treat all types of spaceflight the same, is that they are so restrictive that too few people would be eligible for space travel to have a viable tourism industry. However, not all types of spaceflight are the same, so the distinctions between them need to be clarified. Of the five types of spaceflight described, one is proposed as the most likely to be the first significant phase of space tourism: long-term microgravity flight in low Earth orbit. But because of human problems with long-term exposure to microgravity, this phase requires rather conservative screening and extensive training. However, prior to discussing the passenger issues related to this early phase of space tourism, the reasons why Earth-like gravity, as well as microgravity, must be made available to spacefarers before space tourism can take place on a grand scale need to be explained. Finally, major passenger medical and behavioral issues of the first phase of orbital space tourism-long-term microgravity flight-are discussed.

Cite this paper

@article{Wichman2005BehavioralAH, title={Behavioral and health implications of civilian spaceflight.}, author={Harvey A Wichman}, journal={Aviation, space, and environmental medicine}, year={2005}, volume={76 6 Suppl}, pages={B164-71} }