Carla Conejo presents findings on sleep study of Hypatia I crew at Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol

26/09/2023 | Carla Conejo, Executive Officer and Biologist of the Hypatia I, has presented the preliminary results of her research project on the sleep-wake cycle in the all-female crew during their Earth-based Martian analog mission. The Hypatia I mission took place in April 2023 at the Mars Research Desert Station (MDRS) in the Utah desert (USA), an analog station simulating living conditions on Mars.

Among the collaborating entities for the mission, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, through the Pneumology Service and the Sleep Unit led by Jorge Abad, MD, provided support to study the circadian rhythms of the crew members.

During this session, open to all professionals at Campus Can Ruti, Carla Conejo and Laia Ribas, both biologists of the Hypatia I crew, presented the main results of the mission. One of the primary goals of this initiative is to inspire future generations, especially young girls and other underrepresented groups, to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines.

Later in the session, Carla Conejo, along with Aida Muñoz, MD, and Georgina Company, PhD, her closest collaborators on the study at the hospital, presented the main findings of their research. This study investigated the circadian profile of the crew’s sleep-wake and activity-rest cycles during the mission. This data collection has enhanced our understanding of neurophysiological alterations during space operations, particularly in female crews, an area previously underexplored.

The Hypatia I expedition began its journey on April 16 and returned to Catalonia on April 29. During this time, the crew conducted research projects in astronomy, biology, space medicine, engineering, and outreach. The study conducted by Carla Conejo, with the collaboration of Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, has provided essential data to better understand the human limitations in space travel, one of the main research focuses of space agencies worldwide.

Sleep Disorders on Mars – A Key Project of the ‘Hypatia I’ Mission. Albert Guerra / Laia Martínez. Badalona Comunicació. 26/09/2023 (https://www.bdncom.cat/notice/el-trastorn-del-son-a-mart-un-dels-projectes-de-la-missio-hypatia-i)