Team leader, Human and Robotic Exploration at ESA
Her duties as team leader include preparing the human psyche for the stress that the harsh conditions of space exploration puts on an astronaut. She joined ESA in 2006 and in 2012 became head of the Life Sciences Unit. In 2018 she held the position of SciSpace team leader and is currently the Research and Payloads Programme Coordinator at ESA’s Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration.
“The crews have to live autonomously in isolation within a very confined tin can with the same crew members for a very long time..
Space also exposes astronauts to zero-gravity conditions which of course has an impact on their bodies. All those factors combined have a direct impact on the crew members and the crew. Isolation and confinement definitely are two of the major psychological challenges they have to face. But they are trained and prepared quite well. We teach them how to cope with these situations before we send them on their missions.”