Positive Experiences as Countermeasures to Stress in Spaceflight: An Investigation of the Experiences of Astronauts
Long-duration space mission targets such as asteroids, the Moon and Mars in coming years will increase the need to stress management techniques to support crews on increasingly risky, autonomous missions. New stress management approaches may be found by better understanding the reported positive effects resulting from factors in these environments. This study utilized an exploratory case study approach to leverage quantitative and qualitative data to yield research questions for future correlational analysis. This study found that positive experiences and changes in environmental perspectives occurred from viewing Earth from orbit. Furthermore, this study found that personality factors such as extraversion may not effectively predict stress resilience in the astronaut population. The study suggests recommendations for future research; especially on the potential use of head-mounted virtual reality technology for providing similar immersive, relaxing experiences for crews travelling beyond Earth orbit.