Penn Sleep Expert Tracks Astronauts’ Stress and Fatigue During 520-Day Mars Mission Simulation

David Dinges, PhD, chief of the division of chronobiology and professor of psychology in psychiatry at Penn Medicine, will lead a U.S. scientific team as part of a simulated 520-day Mars mission simulation. The researchers will be monitoring the six crew members’ rest-activity cycles, performance and psychological responses to determine the extent to which sleep loss, fatigue, stress, mood changes and conflicts occur during the mission. The 520-day mission is broken into 250 days for the trip to Mars, 30 days on the surface, and 240 days for the return to Earth. []