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Everyone needs a good pillow?even astronauts bound for Mars

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
the Royal College of Art
Amazon Echo
the International Space Station
CNMN Collection
Condé Nast

Tibor Balint
Acta Astronautica
Chang Hee Lee
Abraham Maslow
Scott Kelly
Mark Kelly
Robbie Gonzalez
Francine Garrett-Bakelman


the Red Planet
the moon

the International Space Station
California Privacy Rights

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Positivity     40.00%   
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The New York Times
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Now that we’re on the cusp, in space mission timescales, of sending a human to Mars, Balint believes that mission architects need to start catering to astronauts’ higher psychological needs. Enter the space pillow, or as Balint calls it, the space pillow system.As detailed in a paper recently published in Acta Astronautica, Balint and his colleague Chang Hee Lee, an assistant professor at the Royal College of Art, sought to create an object that would provide comfort, reduce stress, and enhance the privacy of astronauts on a multiyear mission to the Red Planet. So while astronauts might not physically need a pillow to sleep in space, Baliant says the act of designing a headrest allowed them to consider what space travelers might need beyond the basics of life support.For the entire history of space exploration, astronauts have never been more than a three-day journey from Earth. Alternatively they could make the pillow interactive, like an Amazon Echo, transforming the cushion into a sort of astro-Wilson for future Martian castaways.Balint and Lee designed a suite of space pillows, each intended to meet some or all of the higher-level needs they had identified for astronauts. As space habitat design gains momentum, Balint hopes his space pillow will remind the engineers that artists and designers need to be part of the conversation, too.NASA's Scott Kelly spent a year on board the International Space Station to test the effects of space travel on his body, while his identical twin and fellow astronaut

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