November 13, 2017 – Watching TV is good for you. When you’re in space, that is.
Think about those moments when it seemed pretty much the whole nation was gathered around the TV set: the moon landing. A Super Bowl. A hit TV show — these days, maybe Game of Thrones.
Could it be that the time in front of the TV might be the secret weapon that helps future space travelers handle those ultra-long voyages?
Jan Van den Bulck, a professor of media psychology at the University of Michigan, joined Stateside to talk about how media can play a role in astronauts’ mental well-being.
“Up until now, any space mission has involved a lot of work. But when we reach out to something like Mars, it’s going to be a lot of waiting,” Van den Bulck said.
Prevailing wisdom might tell us that the solution to this boredom might be to send plenty of DVDs and books along for the journey, but Van den Bulck doesn’t entirely agree.
“I think that’s not enough, because the media can do much more than that,” he said. To him, media is more than just entertainment.