Broadcast 1610 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

23 Aug 2011 Dr. John Deaton
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Guest: Dr. John Deaton. Topics: Human Factors for Mars, Mars habitat living experiences, the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS). You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Dr. John Deaton to the program to discuss human factors, manned Mars missions, and Mars simulation habitat experiences with MDRS of the Mars Society. During our first segment of this two hour program, we talked about some of the basics regarding a possible three year manned Mars mission. Our guest talked extensively about crew selection criteria and the process that might be used to select a Martian crew. Later in this discussion, we got a listener question asking our guest about one way trips to Mars. Dr. Deaton had much to say about a one way trip and was not in favor of the idea. This is a discussion you do not want to miss. We started the second segment talking about the simulation habitat crew and the crew's background. We talked about the experiments each crew member had, including a food experiment that dictated what the habitat participants ate for the two weeks they were at the MDRS. Dr. Deaton described the physical living conditions, sleeping arrangements, shower facilities, even the bathroom infrastructure which broke down on his mission. The habitat workdays proved very long and the crew was often going until midnight with their work. Dr. Deaton described the EVA experience with spacesuits and the use of ATVs. A medical issue developed with our guest and he talked about lessons learned from that incident and experience to what might happen on an actual Mars mission and how best to prepare for such things. We then received a call from Tim in Huntsville wanting to question our guest about his selfish comment regarding one way Mars trips. This turned out to be an interesting discussion with Tim and Dr. Deaton, even addressing radiation and other human factors issues with Tim drawing parallels to the early ocean exploration voyages from hundreds of years ago. This prompted one of my rants on reality versus fantasy, then we moved on to mixed gender crews and coping with human nature on a manned Mars trip. This too was an interesting discussion you do not want to miss. We then had a call from another John in Florida regarding human factors issues, radiation and astronauts as radiation workers. Our caller shared his teaching experiences from U. S Space Camp with us and more. We also talked about muscle deterioration and I mentioned our October 2010 show with Dr. Fitts on his NASA study about that specific issue. If you have comments or questions for Dr. Deaton, post them on the blog URL above. You can email Dr. Deaton at



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