Antarctic lessons for space

Antarctic lessons for space

Video transcript

Going to Antarctica is like visiting another planet.

It’s extreme, confined, and isolated.

Chief Medical Officer – Dr Jeff Ayton

“We’ve got isolation for up to nine months of the year, so we can’t get people out of Antarctica. So, we have a small population of 14-25 people at Casey, Davis and Mawson and at sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island.”

Australian Antarctic doctors are experts in remote medical care.

This knowledge informs space agencies planning for long-term missions to the Moon or Mars.

Chief Medical Officer – Dr Jeff Ayton

“Australia has been quite successful in undertaking space analogue research in areas such as immunology, but also mental health and behavioural health. How do teams work well together, but also how to individuals work well together and how can we support them.”

Dr Ayton will share his insights from the icy continent Aerospace Futures 2019.

[end transcript]

Milky Way above Australia's Davis research station
Milky Way above Australia's Davis research station (Photo: Robert Isaac)

Antarctica is the closest you can get to space without leaving Earth.

It’s an isolated, confined and extreme environment where Antarctic expeditioners live remotely for up to nine months of the year.

Australian Antarctic Program doctors have been looking after the health and well-being of expeditioners at our stations for decades.

These highly specialised remote medicine skills can inform space agencies as they plan future missions to the Moon or Mars.

Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing this weekend, Australia’s Chief Antarctic Medical Officer, Dr Jeff Ayton, will share his insights from the icy continent at the Aerospace Futures 2019 conference in Sydney.