'Virtual Space Station' NASA Software Psychologist

A software program called Virtual Space Station is being developed to provide assistance to astronauts on future space missions. This interactive software suite is intended to address the psychosocial challenges of long-term space travel.

NASA is anticipating that, when the distance from Earth becomes too great for a normal conversation to occur, astronauts may want to have an option for on-the-spot counseling.


(Virtual Space Station screen sample)

For example, if a fellow crewmember makes a critical mistake, how might you choose to deal with the situation? The software models the situation in an interactive way, offering different options and responses that might rationally be made.

The Virtual Space Station software has been developed using input from 13 veteran long-duration NASA astronauts who have flown on the International Space Station, Mir and Skylab. The system is being evaluated in a series of clinical trials; it has already been used in Antarctica.

"Behavioral health problems can interfere with the success of the mission, especially on long-duration space flights like missions to the International Space Station, the moon and Mars. These self-guided software tools will provide private and immediate access to treatments even though the patient may be many miles from Earth," said Psychologist James Carter, PhD, one of the program's developers.

Science fiction fans are long familiar with these efforts to create a "software therapist" or a robot psychologist. An early example is the machine psychologist from James Blish's 1957 novel Cities in Flight. This is probably the closest to a prediction, since it was used on long space flights, even though there were plenty of other people around.

More often, the situation takes a more humorous turn. Consider the Rex Regenerator Mechanotherapist from Robert Sheckley's 1956 story Bad Medicine.

"That, sir, is the Rex Regenerator, built by General Motors. Isn't it handsome? It can go with any decor and opens up into a well-stocked bar. Your friends, family, loved ones need never know--"

"Will it cure a homicidal urge?" Caswell asked. "A strong one?"

"Absolutely. Don't confuse this with the little ten amp neurosis models. This is a hefty, heavy-duty, twenty-five amp machine for a really deep-rooted major condition."
(Read more about the Rex Regenerator Mechanotherapist)

Other popular examples include Dr. Smile from Philip K. Dick's novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Sigfrid von Shrink from Frederik Pohl's novel Gateway.

NASA might also want to consider the MindMentor Computer-Based Psychotherapy, an automated computer-based therapy tool.

From Self-help software to soothe stressed astronauts and Psychologists show new ways to deal with health challenges in space; via Slashdot.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/26/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Starlink Satellites Leading Edge On-Orbit Debris Mitigation
Propulsion-assisted orbital decay, brought to you by SpaceX.

Space Hero Inc. Offers Trip To ISS As Reality Show Prize
'This is Elmer Schmitz, presenting to you the finalists in our Aviation Quiz Program...' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1952.

Bigrating Laser Beam-Riding Light Sail Is Self-Correcting
'That sail will be twenty thousand miles at the wide part.' - Cordwainer Smith, 1960.

ISS Astronauts Test Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' Skin Serum
'Out in the New Moon, just ask for what you want...' - Jack Williamson, 1939.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Tesla Will Have Metal Gear Snake Autocoupler, Musk Confirms
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine, in spite of its metallic glitter.'

Starlink Satellites Leading Edge On-Orbit Debris Mitigation
Propulsion-assisted orbital decay, brought to you by SpaceX.

Healight Ultraviolet Endotracheal Device Has Covid-19 Treatment Potential
'He applied the tip of the instrument to the interior of the wound...'

Parents Use AI To See One Last Message From Their Deceased Son
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man?'

Satoshi Tomizu Creates Pocket Universes And Worldcraft Bubbles In Glass
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'

Space Hero Inc. Offers Trip To ISS As Reality Show Prize
'This is Elmer Schmitz, presenting to you the finalists in our Aviation Quiz Program...'

I Love Ceiling-Mounted Robots
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'

Armano Remote Control Excavator
'The bulldozer moved through the... mine... '

OK, NASA 3D Printer Of Food Not Yet Star Trek Food Synthesizer
Maybe not, but we're seeing definite progress.

Kelly Clarkson Show Like Black Mirror '15 Million Merits'
'These people are pieces of software called avatars.'

Salto Jumping Robot Now Sticks Landing!
'Lucky touched the leap knob and the hopper's leg retracted.'

Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...'

Bigrating Laser Beam-Riding Light Sail Is Self-Correcting
'That sail will be twenty thousand miles at the wide part.'

ISS Astronauts Test Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' Skin Serum
'Out in the New Moon, just ask for what you want...'

LG Wing Twisting Smartphone Might Be Fun
'A polycarbon screen unfurled...'

Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
'She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.