Research at Concordia
ESA-sponsored medical researcher Alexander Kumar is monitoring sleep patterns by recording the brain activity of his sleeping crewmates. He is also taking saliva samples to chart the levels over time of sleep hormones such as melatonin or cortisol.
ESA sponsors a medical research doctor in Concordia every winter to study the long-term effects of isolation and it doesn’t come much more isolated than this. The base is 3200 m above sea level and temperatures will drop to –80°C.
The station is the closest thing on Earth to interplanetary exploration. Studying the effects of isolation there is preparing ESA for the real thing: a mission to Mars.
Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA - A. Kumar