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Human interactions during Shuttle/Mir space missionsTo improve the interpersonal climate of crewmembers involved with long-duration space missions, it is important to understand the factors affecting their interactions with each other and with members of mission control. This paper will present findings from a recently completed NASA-funded study during the Shuttle/Mir program which evaluated in-group/out-group displacement of negative emotions; changes in tension, cohesion, and leader support over time; and cultural differences. In-flight data were collected from 5 astronauts, 8 cosmonauts, and 42 American and 16 Russian mission control personnel who signed informed consent. Subjects completed a weekly questionnaire that assessed their mood and perception of their work group's interpersonal climate using questions from well-known, standardized measures (Profile of Mood States, Group and Work Environment Scales) and a critical incident log. There was strong evidence for the displacement of tension and dysphoric emotions from crewmembers to mission control personnel and from mission control personnel to management. There was a perceived decrease in commander support during the 2nd half of the missions, and for American crewmembers a novelty effect was found on several subscales during the first few months on-orbit. There were a number of differences between American and Russian responses which suggested that the former were less happy with their interpersonal environment than the latter. Mission control personnel reported more tension and dysphoria than crewmembers, although both groups scored better than other work groups on Earth. Nearly all reported critical incidents came from ground subjects, with Americans and Russians showing important differences in response frequencies.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Kanas, N.
(University of California and Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center San Francisco, California, United States)
Salnitskiy, V.
Grund, E. M.
Weiss, D. S.
Gushin, V.
Kozerenko, O.
Sled, A.
Marmar, C. R.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 2001
Publication Information
Publication: Acta astronautica
Volume: 48
Issue: 5-12
ISSN: 0094-5765
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Non-NASA Center
long duration
NASA Experiment Number 9401628
Flight Experiment
short duration
NASA Discipline Space Human Factors
Mir Project
STS Shuttle Project

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