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Watch trailer for ‘Space: The Longest Goodbye,’ new film exploring astronaut mental health (video)

Scientists and mission planners are investigating how long-term space travel affects the human mind and body, as they work to get astronauts ready to make the big leap to Mars.

The mental aspects — the feelings of loneliness, isolation and solitude that could come with a multiyear space mission — are increasingly coming under the microscope, as an award-winning new documentary shows.

That film, “Space: The Longest Goodbye,” delves into the complexities of cerebral concerns to carve a pathway toward identifying and treating long-term mental health issues in space as they relate to the deprivation of normal human contact.

Related: Deep space missions will test astronauts’ mental health. Could AI companions help?

“Space: The Longest Goodbye” premieres on March 8, 2024. (Image credit: Greenwich Entertainment)

Directed by Ido Mizrahy and featuring Dr. Al Holland, Kayla Barron, Dr. Jack Stuster, Cady Coleman, Sukjin Han, and Jackie Morie, this 87-minute film screened at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. It’s now scheduled for a limited theatrical release and an extended stay on Amazon’s Prime Video and Apple TV+ streaming platforms beginning March 8, 2024.

Here’s the official synopsis:

“In the next decade, NASA will send astronauts to Mars for the first time. Separated from Earth, and unable to communicate with ground in real time, crew members will experience extreme isolation that could gravely affect their three-year journey. This Sundance-premiering documentary follows a savvy NASA psychologist tasked with protecting daring space explorers.”

Mental stability will be of paramount concern when Earthlings launch on the first crewed excursion to the Red Planet. Mizrahy’s movie introduces Dr. Holland, a certified NASA psychologist whose job is to make sure astronauts keep calm and carry on while aboard their years-long Martian flight.

“Space: The Longest Goodbye” showcases rookie astronauts Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer, ex-astronaut Cady Coleman and others as they struggle with real limitations of the brain while training for an epic trip into the cold black void.

From Greenwich Entertainment and produced by Ido Mizrahy, Nir Sa’ar, and Paul Cadieux, “Space: The Longest Goodbye” launches into theaters and on Prime Video and Apple TV+ starting on March 8.

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