The Long Term Integrated Benefits of Gardening in Space

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August, 2004 The Long Term Integrated Benefits of Gardening in Spaceā€ co-authored with Dr. Philippe A. Souvestre, submitted for presentation and publication at the 55th International Aeronautical Congress (IAC 2004), Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Abstract

Many studies have demonstrated the physiological and psychological benefits of contact between plants and people. The authors focus on the human neurophysiological mechanisms which can explain this occurrence. These include sensory motor controls and related cognition, as well as dermal optical perception, which are essential to the physiology of performance. During long term missions, the challenges which negatively affect fundamental physical and psychological parameters include microgravity, vibration, radiation, light, and confinement in a sterile environment. The paper recommends developing practical applications using these physiological mechanisms together with the Man-Plant interface to leverage standard space oriented horticultural operations. The objective is to help counter stressors with the result of improved/sustained human perceptual and performance capabilities on long term missions in space.

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