A few months ago I had an incredible opportunity to join the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute (BASI) and an interdisciplinary team of social scientists to discuss the future of human-centered research in regards to deep space exploration. Human space travel has become a hot topic once again, but this time it’s beyond orbits around the earth, trips to the International Space Station (ISS), or even lunar surface landings. This time our eyes are set on the fourth rock from the sun…Mars.
This two-day workshop held at NASA in Titusville, FL hosted over 40 attendees from various educational backgrounds within the social sciences. The goal of this workshop was to identify the challenges in terms of psychological, sociological, and physiological factors that would pose as barriers to successful mission execution. Taking on this magnificent feat undoubtedly raises a tremendous amount of questions and the outcome of this workshop resulted in the blueprints of a research plan to direct efforts in support of this endeavor. It was an honor to be welcomed to the workshop and become a part of this superlative team.