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Their interactions, performance, and stress levels are closely monitored through surveillance cameras, surveys, diaries, and even badges that track their locations.
There, scientists have also reported success in testing systems like the Virtual Space Station — a computer program that can walk astronauts through training on conflict and stress management or depression treatment programs.
NASA plans to send its first astronauts to Mars in an Orion capsule and an attached habitat.
Though the exact configuration of that craft has yet to be determined, it will be quite small compared to other crafts.
This perhaps highlights how communication lags can put a strain on relationships, and how crews and mission controllers will need to develop a good rapport before the start of the journey.
Elon Musk is still a long way from introducing Space X’s roomy 100-person spaceship complete with movie theaters and restaurants to keep people occupied on a mission to Mars.
It will become even more important for future astronauts to have people skills like interpersonal tolerance, empathy, and a strong awareness of others’ needs.“The crewmembers will need to be open to discussing psychological stressors with each other,” says Nick Kanas, a space psychology expert and an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.
This will be especially important since astronauts won’t be able to have real-time conferences with mental health professionals on Earth.
Related: NASA's Bold Plan to Save Earth From Killer Asteroids At HI-SEAS missions in Hawaii, astronaut stand-ins live in a Mars-like habitat, cut off from the rest of the world, for up to a year at a time.With up to a 20-minute one-way lag in communications, they’ll have to wait 40 minutes to get a response to each message they send to Earth.Add those stressors to the list of others astronauts are likely to experience — sleep disturbances, lack of privacy, lack of sensory stimulation, monotony, potentially life threatening situations, and the discomfort of being in microgravity — and you might have a recipe for tension.When billows of moon dust prevented him from seeing the lunar surface, Armstrong quickly adapted by looking for surface rocks through the haze.“He reported his heart was pounding but his mind stayed focused and confident from the hundreds of hours of flight stimulations he had experienced.”But the famous stoicism of 20th-century astronauts would only go so far on long journeys in a small habitat.