Psychology professor will study astronaut health for NASA

man juggling in space craft

dcarter.pngDorothy Carter, assistant professor of psychology, is the principal investigator on one of only seven proposals accepted by NASA's Human Research Program to support astronaut health on missions to Mars:

NASA's Human Research Program will fund seven proposals to help answer questions about astronaut health and performance during future long duration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. The selected proposals will investigate the impact of the space environment on various aspects of astronaut health, including behavioral health and performance, cardiovascular alterations, human factors and radiation effects. All of the selected projects will contribute to NASA’s long-term plans for deep space exploration, including to Mars.

The Human Research Program works to address the practical problems of spaceflight that impact astronaut health and its research may provide knowledge and technologies that could improve human health and performance during space exploration and develop potential countermeasures for problems experienced during space travel. The organizations' goals are to help astronauts complete their challenging missions successfully and to preserve their long-term health. These studies often lead to advancements in understanding and treating illnesses in patients on Earth.

Carter's research seeks to uncover the factors that enable large-scale organizational systems, composed of multiple teams, to tackle complex challenges requiring diverse areas of expertise and seems a natural fit for NASA. Her successful proposal is "Project FUSION: Facilitating Unified Systems of Interdependent Organizational Networks."

Image: Assistant professor of psychology Dorothy Carter.