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In his previous post, Nils Kaufmann got to talk a bit about the mission phase and the beginning of his office work at the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF). This time round, he will focus on his last few weeks at the OeWF, where he got stuck into the crux of his work.
The focus of my time was data collected as part of the FATIGUE experiment, which looked at the physical and mental fatigue of analog astronauts in the field. The experimental data assessed the hand grip strength of the analog astronauts and the field crew in the morning and evening, for the duration of the mission. This involved the participants gripping a handgrip dynamometer three times for each test. The aim of the analysis was to see if there was change in hand strength between the beginning, and end of the mission for the analogue astronauts and field crew.
As it turns out, a lot of data is produced from the AMADEE-18 mission, even in this one aspect! The three pieces of data on hand grip strength for each member of the mission were grouped together and averaged to give a value for each session. Alongside all this, the heart rate, and Medical Questionnaire (MEDQ) scores were collected for the analog astronauts in the suits. All of this led to a huge spreadsheet with a lot of numbers, in which you could get lost for days.
The next challenge was determining what statistical test needed to be carried out. The one thing that I can now say about statistics is that if you manage to bang your head enough times against a wall, there will eventually be light on the other side! At least that’s how it felt as I started with limited experience in statistical analysis. However, I have good news on that front. I was able to figure out the statistical tests to carry out and managed to position the data to run the tests. This led to a vortex of numbers. However, these numbers showed differences between the weeks for certain groups and the morning and afternoon sessions. All this data will hopefully be published so keep an eye out for more detailed reports on this topic!
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the OeWF, managing to meet a lot of interesting people and sinking my teeth into the topic of space medicine for the first time. Working with this enthusiastic group of individuals has made me want to come back and continue preparing for mankind’s future on Mars.
- 19.11.2018 - 24.11.2018: [Cancelled] Beyond Earth Orbit: Space exploration as an interdisciplinary tool for your classroom
- 23.11.2018 - 29.11.2018: European Space Talks
- 07.12.2018 - 09.12.2018: OeWF Analog Mission Basic Training (AMBT)
- 08.02.2019 - 10.02.2019: OeWF Analog Mission Advanced Training (AMAT)
- 16.02.2019 - 17.02.2019: Austrian Space Ball 2019
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