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Study of psychological impacts of trip to Mars

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to an interesting article in CNN _http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/space/06/02/space.psych/index.html_
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2008
      URL to an interesting article in CNN

      Reports on a study of psychological impacts of a year - 2 year trip to Mars.
      There have been a lot of science fiction stories about this. How many of
      us could stand to be with the same people for a year or more?

      First few paragraphs
      "LONDON, England (CNN) -- If Dr. Robert Zubrin could take a trip to Mars, he
      would be sure to pack a bread maker in his suitcase. Not just because bread
      is a pretty reliable expeditionary food, but because the act of cooking,
      according to Zubrin, seems to help people get along with each other, especially
      when they are in slightly dire, less than luxurious and more than stressful

      Red Planet pioneers will face extreme isolation and confinement on a
      years-long trip to Mars.


      And Zubrin would know, too. He has, after all, led almost a half-dozen mock
      Mars missions on barren Arctic ice fields and scorching Utah deserts with
      volunteer teams made up of students, scientists, journalists and anyone else
      willing to wear fake spacesuits and live in tiny tin-can-like habitation modules
      for days on end.
      The simulated expeditions were made, in part, to research ways to live and
      work on the Red Planet. But they also revealed something else: what
      personality types might best be suited to make the 35 million-mile journey and who
      would be better off watching from Mission Control.
      "Some of these crews have worked out very well," said Zubrin, president of
      the Mars Society, a 7,000-member multinational group determined to reach what
      it calls the New World. "Others were at each other's throats."
      While it will probably take at least another 20 years before Zubrin -- or
      anyone else for that matter -- makes it to the Martian surface, _NASA_
      (http://topics.cnn.com/topics/nasa) and other space agencies are already drawing up
      plans for a voyage that will present astronauts not only with physical but
      also psychological challenges never faced by humans before.
      "When you go to Mars, all bets are off," said Dr. Nick Kanas, a professor at
      the University of California, San Francisco, who has studied astronaut
      psychology. "We don't know what is going to happen."
      One particularly important task, Kanas explained, will be picking a team of
      astronauts who can both work and get along with each other on a trip lasting
      at least two years, spent mostly within the confines of a not-so-big
      spacecraft sailing through the dark. The European Space Agency and the Russian
      Institute of Biomedial Problems are scheduled to run a joint 520-day mock Mars
      expedition this year aimed to study the effects of extreme isolation and
      confinement on 12 volunteers."

      **************Get trade secrets for amazing burgers. Watch "Cooking with
      Tyler Florence" on AOL Food.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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