nable to inclusion in astronaut training and is based upon the previous and continuously accumulating evidence.

Within the context of such an enhanced database on the determinants of effectiveness of small groups, further investigations will be required to analyze potentially disruptive influences on harmonious and productive interactions among members of the space crew. Among these are cultural differences among members of multinational crews, differences among members of different professional and technical disciplines, issues related to the distribution of authority, and sexual interactions. In the case of sexual interactions, careful consideration must be given to living arrangements that accommodate this challenge to group cohesiveness.

Use of Pairs of Transport Vehicles for Small Groups Traveling Beyond Earth Orbit

Virtually all aspects of the onboard health care support system, and particularly those related to behavioral health and group performance, would be enhanced, in the committee’s speculative opinion, by a long-duration space mission design that used a pair of transport vehicles. In addition to the motivational advantages of the friendly competition that would be generated under such conditions, the reassuring presence of an accompanying group to support the mission would confirm the availability of a nearby resource base. To the extent that interactions between flight groups could be established and maintained—including intermittent rendezvous during the outbound voyage—general living conditions would be enriched and potentially disruptive within-group issues would be attenuated. Cost-benefit analyses would take into consideration the modest incremental engineering and human systems requirements, including the support, training, and recovery requirements, over those for a single space transport vehicle beyond Earth orbit, which itself represents a major funding investment.



Experiences over the past several decades in space and analog settings indicate the importance of a behavioral health role in supporting both participants and ground control personnel during and upon the return from extended space missions. Monitoring of both individual and group interac-

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement