Enabling and Enhancing Human Health and Performance for Mars Colonies: Smart Spacecraft and Smart Habitats
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Crews on extended space flights—such as missions to Mars for exploration and settlement—will be faced with unprecedented challenges. In addition to recognized concerns about human health and performance that are already addressed through various mitigation strategies, there will be problems that have not yet been identified, some of which will be a consequence of the web of interactions among the many subsystems that make up such a complex undertaking. The people on these missions must also, due to remoteness and isolation from Earth, have the tools to assess and correct these problems autonomously. An approach to this situation is described here, which formulates the myriad subsystems and their interactions as a network (drawing on concepts from complexity theory). Each subsystem is a node, and the interconnections are links. Mathematical tools of complexity and network theory can be applied to assess the ability of the network to accomplish its given tasks (performance monitoring) and to maintain performance in the face of failures or perturbations (resilience).
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