«Mars-500» project Simulation of a manned flight to Mars
Effects of the environmental factors in Mars500 program on circadian rhythm and oxidative stress
Purpose of the study
To study the effects of the long term isolation and confinement on the states of circadian rhythm and oxidative stress in Mars500 crewmembers.
a. Study of circadian rhythm patterns during the course of 520 days isolation;
b. Study of oxidative stress states under ground simulated conditions during long term isolation and confinement.
Inherent circadian rhythm exists in human body, which is a roughly 24-hour cycle in the biochemical, physiological or behavioral processes. With increasingly developed modern space technology, astronauts are confronted with long-term space flight, such as the big challenge to travel to the Mars.
But during such a long-term flight, the stressful environment and change of biological rhythm entrainment would significantly increase the probability of chronic stress, circadian rhythm disruption, and ultimately lead to psychological dysfunction.
This study is focused on circadian rhythm and oxidative stress problems, two considerable factors to the alertness and performance of astronaut. A systematically deep exploration is being performed from basal physiological indexes to cellular and molecular markers. To facilitate the research, special advanced indexes, techniques and equipment are being used, from electroencephalograph (EEG) to sleep/awake pattern monitoring, from body temperature to heart/respiration rate, from saliva/urine hormones to electrolytes, and from plasma proteins to blood cell genes.
Consequently, this study will probably provide some specific applicable indices for assay and evaluation of biomedical conditions of confined human bodies during long term space flight.