effectiveness in the course of long-duration missions remains to be planned and undertaken.

  • There is a need for more information about support delivery systems at the interface between ground-based and space-dwelling groups.

  • In the absence of a valid and reliable analysis of the existing database, it is not possible to determine whether the current procedures will be adequate for the screening and selection of candidates for long-duration missions.

  • Although the data from natural analog environments, including simulation studies, may be helpful, there remains a need to accumulate knowledge based on observations from systematic research in both natural and simulated extreme terrestrial environments and venues like the International Space Station.

Recommendation 4

NASA should give priority to increasing the knowledge base of the effects of living conditions and behavioral interactions on the health and performance of individuals and groups involved in long-duration missions beyond Earth orbit. Attention should focus on

  • understanding group interactions in extreme, confined, and isolated microenvironments;

  • understanding the roles of sex, ethnicity, culture, and other human factors on performance;

  • understanding potentially disruptive behaviors;

  • developing means of behavior monitoring and interventions;

  • developing evidence-based criteria for reliable means of crew selection and training and for the management of harmonious and productive crew interactions; and

  • training of both space-dwelling and ground-based support groups specifically selected for involvement in operations beyond Earth orbit.


Because of the high degree of risk of long-duration space missions and the relatively few data available, the need for the collection and analysis of all relevant data is a message that appears throughout this report. Currently, NASA distinguishes between astronaut health-related data, which are medical data and which are considered private, and supplemental data (mission-based data and responses to space travel) and integrated test regimen data

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