Independent Lens

Space: The Longest Goodbye

NASA's goal to send astronauts to Mars would require a three-year absence from Earth, during which communication in real time would be impossible due to the immense distance. Meet the psychologists whose job is to keep astronauts mentally stable in outer space, as they are caught between their dream of reaching new frontiers and the basic human need to stay connected to home.

Space: The Longest Goodbye

1h 24m

NASA's goal to send astronauts to Mars would require a three-year absence from Earth, during which communication in real time would be impossible due to the immense distance. Meet the psychologists whose job is to keep astronauts mentally stable in outer space, as they are caught between their dream of reaching new frontiers and the basic human need to stay connected to home.

Previews + Extras

  • Trailer | Space: The Longest Goodbye: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer | Space: The Longest Goodbye

    S25 E16 - 30s

    NASA's goal to send astronauts to Mars would require a three-year absence from Earth, during which communication in real time would be impossible due to the immense distance. Meet the psychologists whose job is to keep astronauts mentally stable in outer space, as they are caught between their dream of reaching new frontiers and the basic human need to stay connected to home.

  • What an Antarctic Disaster Can Teach Us About Getting to Mars: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    What an Antarctic Disaster Can Teach Us About Getting to Mars

    S25 E16 - 15m 9s

    A manned mission to Mars presents a huge array of challenges for scientists and explorers to figure out. Chief among them: how to keep humans sane and relatively content on the isolating, confining, and potentially years long journey to the red planet and back. Turns out, explorers from generations ago here on Earth survived similar challenges that tomorrow's astronauts can learn from.

  • Can Humans Get to Mars Without Going Insane?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Can Humans Get to Mars Without Going Insane?

    S25 E16 - 12m 32s

    Humanity's first Martian explorers will face extreme confinement, isolation and disruption of all bodily rhythms. The psychological stress from all of this could lead to a breakdown of social order among those on the mission – even mutiny. Are there lessons that can be learned about this from terrestrial explorers of the past?

  • Antarctica's Survival Guide for Mars Explorers: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Antarctica's Survival Guide for Mars Explorers

    S25 E16 - 13m 41s

    In 1897, the Belgica set sail for Antarctica on the first true science mission to the end of the world,. But within 200 days, the crew found themselves trapped in sea ice, battling disease and insanity during the unending polar night. What can their trials teach us about maintaining sanity in the harsh environments of space as humanity plans for it’s first crewed mission to Mars?

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