University lecturer to present at International Astronautical Congress in Mexico

Date 10.05.2016

The University of Northampton’s Dr Nathan Smith, Lecturer in Sports Psychology, has been invited to deliver two presentations at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.

First held in 1950, the International Astronautical Congress features plenary sessions, lectures and meetings, all attended by experts from the world’s space agencies. Taking place between 26 and 30 September, this year’s event centres around the theme of ‘making space accessible to all countries’.

Dr Nathan Smith

Dr Smith explained: “It is really exciting to be able to share several of our extreme environment studies with the audience at the International Astronautical Congress. The conference attendees come from all sectors of the space industry and are responsible for developing the tools required to safely explore beyond Earth’s orbit and into the outer reaches of space. At the forum I will share data from people undertaking mountaineering and polar expeditions, Antarctic overwinterers and those undertaking a simulated Mars mission (confined for 520 days!). I will also have the opportunity to talk about the value of expedition settings for training astronauts and creating functional teams for future long-duration missions to Mars.”

“This should be a good Congress with some really high profile keynote speakers. One keynote who is confirmed to be presenting is Elon Musk (founder of PayPal and owner of Tesla Motors and SpaceX) who will talk about plans to establish a habitat on Mars!,” continued Dr Smith.

Dr Smith will be delivering two presentations at the Congress; “Examining personal values in extreme environment contexts: Revisiting the question of generalisability”, which will be presented during the Behaviour, Performance and Psychosocial Issues in Space symposium, and “Examining the value of mountaineering expeditions for skill development and learning transfer: Implications for astronaut survival training’, which will form part of the Human Spaceflight Global Technical Session.

The International Astronuatical Congress has been co-organised by the International Astronautical Federation, the International Institute of Space Law and the International Academy of Astronautics.

Dr Smith’s presentations link into two book chapters in an upcoming textbook, entitled Space Safety and Human Performance, which will be published later this year.