This comprehensive exploration delves into the multifaceted landscape of human space travel, spanning physiological challenges, astronaut training, spacecraft manufacturing, ethical considerations, societal influences, and technological frontiers. The study elucidates the physiological impacts of microgravity on astronauts, emphasizing the necessity of personalized interventions and rigorous exercise protocols. Psychological dimensions, including isolation, interpersonal dynamics, and support systems, emerge as critical considerations. Astronaut training is dissected, encompassing physical conditioning, systems proficiency, and cultural competence. The paper delves into spacecraft manufacturing, emphasizing adherence to stringent standards, quality control measures, and the integration of additive manufacturing. Space governance challenges, the role of the private sector, and environmental impacts are scrutinized. Cultural and societal dimensions, including the influence of science fiction and ethical considerations, are explored. The study advocates for adaptive ethical frameworks, public engagement, and responsible governance. Technological frontiers such as ion propulsion, AI integration, solar power harvesting, and quantum communication are assessed for their transformative potential and ethical implications. This interdisciplinary examination provides a holistic perspective on the challenges and opportunities shaping the future of human space travel. It advocates for a balanced integration of physiological, psychological, ethical, technological, and societal considerations, emphasizing the imperative of responsible and sustainable practices as humanity ventures further into the cosmos.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 11-27-2023


Jessica C. Lair

Mentor Department Affiliation

Physics, Geosciences, and Astronomy

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level