Author(s): Sybil Carrre
The isolated and confined environment (ICE) is an area of environmental stress that has received very little attention by U.S. investigators. Understanding the physical and psychological components of ICEs is important because many people are exposed to these settings. Naval submarines routinely go on 60-day patrols where outside communication is extremely limited. Oil companies employ professional divers who are required to remain in hyperbaric chambers for a month at a time. Research and business require the maintenance of isolated stations in both polar regions that can be isolated for 6 to 9 months at a time. The space station proposed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will confine and isolate its inhabitants for extended periods, as well.