Travis Nelson

Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

Vadim Y. Rygalov


Long duration spaceflight poses risks to astronauts from stressors including challenging living environments, rigorous workloads, physical and mental fatigue, interpersonal conflict, mission uncertainty, emergencies, isolation and confinement. Analog space exploration simulations on Earth provide researchers with controlled environments to train and study human spaceflight operations. The findings of this study provided data on self-assessed metrics from an analog crew (N=3) who independently completed subjective reports of sleep quality, stress, anxiety, fatigue, mental exertion, and also provided objectively assessed sleep quality data by biometric watches. The daily mean reports from subjects were compared across time in order to ascertain possible quarterly phase changes during a 30 day simulated Lunar/Martian analog habitation mission. A 12x3x3 meter living habitat, detachable electric planetary rover and space suits were used as life support. Results confirmed the initial hypotheses that the autonomous, isolated and confined environment was associated with consistent third quarter effects. Furthermore, a noticeable increased first quarter phase effect in numerous measurements was evident.