• Question: If you're a medical doctor, why do you work in Antarctica, why don't you work somewhere where there are lots of diseases to cure? And if you're working on 'White Mars' why in Antarctica?

    Asked by Space Star!! to Beth on 14 Oct 2015.
    • Photo: Beth Healey

      Beth Healey answered on 14 Oct 2015:

      Hi Space Star!

      In order to cure medical diseases we need to know how to do it first. There are lot’s of things the medical community still don’t know which is why it is so important that advance our knowledge and do medical research to find out. Lot’s of the research I am doing here, although focused on astronauts is applicable to clinical medicine on Earth too!

      In addition it’s really important to keep astronauts healthy too or otherwise missions would fail. I think human factors are going to be one of the biggest challenges for future long duration spaceflight missions!

      I’m working at Concordia ‘White Mars’ here in Antarctica because our station is a spaceflight analogue. That is to say the conditions here are as close to spaceflight or living on another planet as we can find on Earth! Therefore we can apply the findings of our research here to space.