CLOSE

How Space Travel Affects the Human Mind

The job of an astronaut is a hard one, both physically and mentally. The Verge recently shared a video that focuses on the psychological challenges space-goers face as their brains adjust to living aboard the International Space Station for months at a time. Recently returned NASA astronaut Scott Kelly was interviewed for the video, and he shares his own experiences as the person who's spent more days in space than any other American in history.

The Verge uses what science knows about space travel to theorize about the psychological challenges of a trip to Mars, a feat that has yet to be attempted outside of science fiction and one that would take several calendar years. In the video, Kelly speaks about his 340 days in space and how it changed him, and space psychiatrist Nick Kanas talks about things in space that can add stress to the brain, including microgravity, loss of visual contact with the Earth and all things familiar, and the realization that if certain things occur in space (like a toothache), there is nothing the astronauts can do about it. 

As for his advice to future astronauts leaving for the moon, Kelly said, "I would suggest to them: pace yourselves." 

[h/t The Verge]

Banner image: The Verge / YouTube

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com

nextArticle.image_alt|e
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
arrow
History
Photo of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, Purchased for $10, Could Be Worth Millions
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Several years ago, Randy Guijarro paid $2 for a few old photographs he found in an antiques shop in Fresno, California. In 2015, it was determined that one of those photos—said to be the second verified picture ever found of Billy the Kid—could fetch the lucky thrifter as much as $5 million. That story now sounds familiar to Frank Abrams, a lawyer from North Carolina who purchased his own photo of the legendary outlaw at a flea market in 2011. It turns out that the tintype, which he paid $10 for, is thought to be an image of Billy and Pat Garrett (the sheriff who would eventually kill him) taken in 1880. Like Guijarro’s find, experts say Abrams’s photo could be worth millions.

The discovery is as much a surprise to Abrams as anyone. As The New York Times reports, what drew Abrams to the photo was the fact that it was a tintype, a metal photographic image that was popular in the Wild West. Abrams didn’t recognize any of the men in the image, but he liked it and hung it on a wall in his home, which is where it was when an Airbnb guest joked that it might be a photo of Jesse James. He wasn’t too far off.

Using Google as his main research tool, Abrams attempted to find out if there was any famous face in that photo, and quickly realized that it was Pat Garrett. According to The New York Times:

Then, Mr. Abrams began to wonder about the man in the back with the prominent Adam’s apple. He eventually showed the tintype to Robert Stahl, a retired professor at Arizona State University and an expert on Billy the Kid.

Mr. Stahl encouraged Mr. Abrams to show the image to experts.

William Dunniway, a tintype expert, said the photograph was almost certainly taken between 1875 and 1880. “Everything matches: the plate, the clothing, the firearm,” he said in a phone interview. Mr. Dunniway worked with a forensics expert, Kent Gibson, to conclude that Billy the Kid and Mr. Garrett were indeed pictured.

Abrams, who is a criminal defense lawyer, described the process of investigating the history of the photo as akin to “taking on the biggest case you could ever imagine.” And while he’s thrilled that his epic flea market find could produce a major monetary windfall, don’t expect to see the image hitting the auction block any time soon. 

"Other people, they want to speculate from here to kingdom come,” Abrams told The New York Times of how much the photo, which he has not yet had valuated, might be worth. “I don’t know what it’s worth. I love history. It’s a privilege to have something like this.”

[h/t: The New York Times]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
arrow
quiz
Name the TV Titles Based on Their Antonyms

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios