This month EuroMoonMars was involved in a special analog mission! VENUS Biogender mission, organized by Astroland in Santander (Cantabria) and in which EuroMoonMars was involved thanks to the research activities of Prof. Gabriel De La Torre - Associate Professor of Psychology at University of Cadiz - of Neurotek Lab and Space Psychologist Celia Avila Rauch. The mission had a research focus on studying the psychological dynamics of an all-female crew. Among the crew members was Serena Crotti of Lunex, who served as Vice Commander. Her research stay on the mission was funded by Prof. De La Torre. Also contributing to Serena's mission was Lunex EuroSpaceHub. The mission took place inside a cave near Arredondo. The cave simulates the living conditions inside Martian lavatubes. During her mission, Serena recorded a series of video interviews with crew members, which will be used by Prof. de la Torre and Celia A. Rauch in a complementary way to the numerous other psychological tests carried out by the crew. Thanks to this video content, it will be possible to compare traditional test results with the astronauts' daily responses, as well as their expressive, gestural, body and voice language. Here are Serena's comments immediately after the mission!
It was an incredible experience, from the first to the last day of the mission! I am extremely grateful to Neurotek Lab and Lunex EuroSpaceHub for the opportunity I was given to participate in such a unique and fascinating adventure. The Astroland team took care of the crew all the way into the mission. Thanks to the monitoring of the Mission Control we felt safe during all our stay inside the cave, although we had challenges to face.
When you find yourself under the ground, surrounded only by rocks, fatigued from climbing to reach the base, restricted in your movements by your helmet, suit and protective gloves, you really put yourself in the shoes of an astronaut. You become aware of how many skills and competencies our astronauts are required to develop and nurture in their careers. When you sleep with the ticking sound of water seeping from the quarry, you feel like one with our planet. At the same time, surrounded by such a magical and out of the ordinary location, you feel catapulted to another planet.
During this mission I learnt a lot, both in terms of soft and technical skills. I challenged myself a lot. I learnt how to collaborate in a group under highly stressful and demanding situations. As Vice Commander of the mission, I learnt how to be proactive in supporting the Commander every day, both in terms of practical help and as a leader. I witnessed the importance of group relations in Space-like environments, I practised with mission protocols and mission communications. As a designer myself, it was very interesting for me to observe the relationship between the user-astronauts, the habitat, the extreme environment and the tools on board. What an adventure! My take-aways from this experience are: new skills, new thoughts, new knowledge and - above all - unforgettable memories!
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