Astronauts on long-duration space missions will endure the isolation and confinement of the space environment to a greater degree than previous space travelers and terrestrial explorers. Methods crews use to deal with stress and the challenges of long space voyages will be critical to the mission’s success.
In addition to identifying neurobehavioral and psychosocial risks to crew health, safety and productivity, Team objectives include developing methods to monitor brain functions and behavior, and countermeasures to enhance performance, motivation and quality of life. The Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Factors Team is evaluating leadership style, crew composition and cohesion, organization, and adequate communication to optimize crew effectiveness and mission success. The Team’s efforts also include projects as part of the Mars 500 study that occurred in Moscow, Russia and other analog environments.
In addition to meeting the needs of astronauts, the Team’s research products will have benefits for workers in safety-sensitive and remote locations on Earth.
David F. Dinges, Ph.D.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Associate Team Leader:
Robert D. Hienz, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
The Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Factors Team aims to ensure astronaut readiness to perform by developing pre-flight prevention programs to avoid as many risks as possible to individual and group behavioral health during flight, detecting individual and crew problems as early as possible during flight, and applying effective interventions during and after spaceflight.
The Team’s anticipated deliverables for spaceflight include:
The research conducted by the Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Factors Team has applications for health care and many aspects of work environments on Earth. The research has benefits for Earth use in the following ways: