Regina Peldszus has carved herself a niche as a 'space human factors designer.'
This involves the development of design strategies addressing psychological challenges of isolation and monotony of crew during the transfer stages of extended exploration missions, such as to Mars or Near Earth Asteroids.
The scope of her work is fascinating and it's something that is little considered, especially with the potential for extended missions being planned by NASA to go to asteroids and potentially to Mars. She's obviously a supporter of human space flight, as most people of a scientific mind are and she understands the symbolic importance of keeping people in space. It's interesting to consider the idea that - excepting space tourism, something supported but usually derided as not real space flight - with improved simulation strategies and more compromise on the part of the design of space craft, more 'normal' people might be able to travel in space.
At the moment, the mental and physical strains on individuals during extended space flight means only the most stoic and physically fit people are passed to go. Regina works at strategies to lessen the psychological burdens that might affect astronauts and so potentially open the doors for more people to go. \
Preliminary concept of the clothing system with degrees of intervention for different types of basic and active wear [Image: R. Peldszus]It's obviously a fantastic area to work in and really opens up the idea of space flight as a microcosm for daily, domestic design and a good way of thinking about how extreme interactions with technology can affect more menial interactions in our environment.