Touch Some Grass: Cognitive Influences to Inform Environmental Modifications for Long-Duration Space Missions

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Danielle F.S. Rosales
Karis Cooks
Shelby Loftis


Astronauts experience an array of cognitive stressors on the International Space Station with durations of up to one year. This, however, does not compare to the future demand for long-duration space missions to achieve exploratory milestones beyond the Moon. Isolation, confinement, and drastically reduced access to resources are primary contributors to lowered cognitive and perceptual ability. This integrative review aimed to identify available literature about the effects of extended living in space on astronauts’ cognitive and perceptual influences to improve their human-environment interactions. Congruent to the popularized internet meme “Touch Some Grass,†the provided baseline design considerations may mitigate these effects and allow astronauts to reconnect with the environmental modifiers only accessible on Earth such as stimulating colors, vegetation, and open air.

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