WASHINGTON (January 7, 2012)—A new study finds that astronauts can experience a very down-to-Earth problem.
They don't get enough sleep.
The problem could be even worse on a long trip to Mars.
Over time, the lack of sleep could turn intrepid space travelers into drowsy couch potatoes.
In a novel experiment, six volunteers were confined in a cramped mock spaceship in Moscow to simulate a 17-month voyage.
The experience left most of the would-be spacemen lethargic, much like bears gearing up for hibernation.
The men went into a prolonged funk and four had considerable trouble sleeping.
The study was published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.