Astronauts are highly trained specialists, carefully selected for many characteristics, among them their personality. In many science fiction movies or novels, whole populations travel in space ships for extended periods of time.

Has there been any research, or theoretical extrapolations grounded in research, on how the average person or random samples from the populace deal with prolonged residence in an artificial interior, especially one that does not allow them the oportunity to step "outside" under an open sky.

Bunkers after a nuclear attack, mining accidents, or submarine habitats may fall into the same category, though all situations contain the possibility of reaching the earth's surface.

I am pretty sure even healthy people would develop serious symptoms of claustrophobia, making space travel impossible for most of us.


2 Answers 2


There is no lack in Western history of small crews spending years isolated onboard small ships. Even under very dangerous conditions where most of the people died, and they were fully aware about that when they applied to join! It seems to have worked very well, it colonized the world. Humans are very adaptable, I think that the psychology problems of space travel are vastly overrated. Once you're locked up in that tin can you'll deal with the detailed practicalities to huzzle up a way to survive it.


Biosphere experiments with people & plants are self-sustained in enclosed environments for months or years. (China can even do city-size projects like that with entire green cities)

Antarctica seems like the closest thing to another planet we have ON our planet.
...You can go outside there, but in harsh conditions...even the sky is dangerous.
Big Dead Place ..is a humorous but well-documented site about Antarctica life by people stuck there long periods, working & drinking & dealing with bureaucracy.


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