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PBS to Feature Ames Fatigue Researcher in Conversation with International Space Station (ISS) Astronaut
(Sep 2, 2014)
During the week of August 25, 2014, a PBS show to air in the fall 2014, called "In the Pursuit of Happiness," hosted by Joe Cross, is being filmed at NASA Ames Research Center. The interview with Dr. Erin Flynn-Evans (Human Systems Integration Division), an early career scientist recently hired from Harvard University, will focus on research Ames does to ensure that astronauts and pilots are able to maintain peak levels of performance when dealing with circadian desynchronization. Dr. Flynn-Evans will walk through the ISS mock up in Ames' Exploration Center and talk with Astronaut Suni Williams about the challenges she faced sleeping in space and how NASA is constantly working to ensure optimal performance. The goal of this part of the PBS show will be to relate this NASA research to issues encountered by the general public when dealing with shift-work, jet-lag and other common impacts to circadian rhythms.

The host of the show wore an actiwatch (like Ames researchers use in studies with pilots) for a month while traveling from Los Angeles to Paris, with multiple stops in Asia and Europe. Dr. Flynn-Evans will talk with Mr. Cross through his travels and discuss how he could have optimized his sleep and alertness using light and incremental adjustment of sleep timing. The film crew is bringing a blue light, which will be used to talk about how the wavelength of light can improve alertness, performance and phase shifting. Dr. Flynn-Evans will relate this back to how blue-enriched lights are going to be installed on ISS to facilitate phase shifting.
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Last Updated: March 18, 2024