Mars Crew Selection Fact And Fiction
According to a recent article in The Scientist, psychological factors would seriously challenge the crew of a manned Mars mission. Crew members would need to live together for almost three years in a small spacecraft. Some measure of conflict could be avoided by either sending large crews, or using big spacecraft.
Conflict in social systems can emerge in different forms. Typical forms include argumentation, social "friction", interpersonal disliking, attitudes of distrust, passive refusal to cooperate, and (when the conflict becomes severe) physical violence. However, there has been very little evidence of serious conflict or disagreement between the crew members in past missions. Nevertheless, to avoid possible conflict, task-interdependence and cross-links among individuals should be encouraged to promote cooperative contact. More often, there were disagreements between the space crew and Mission Control over task overloads or regulations of crew activities imposed by Mission Control.
(From The Mars Academy)
Do you have what it takes to be a Mars astronaut? Take a look at the Mars Astronaut Quiz.
In his 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein recognized that the biggest problems with sending a crewed vehicle to Mars might not be solvable with technology alone:
...the physical danger was judged to be less important than the psychological stresses. Eight
humans, crowded together like monkeys for almost three Terran years, had better get along much better than humans usually did... A ship's company of four married couples had been decided on as optimum, if the necessary specialties could be found in such a combination.
The University of Edinburgh, prime contractor, sub-contracted crew selection to the Institute for
Social Studies. After discarding the chaff of volunteers useless through age, health, mentality, training, or temperament, the Institute still had over nine thousand candidates to work from, each sound in mind and body and having at least one of the necessary special skills. It was expected that the Institute would report several acceptable four-couple crews.
No such crew was found. The major skills needed were astrogator, medical doctor, cook, machinist,
ship's commander, semantician, chemical engineer, electronics engineer, physicist, geologist,
biochemist, biologist, atomics engineer, photographer, hydroponicist, rocket engineer. Each crew
member would have to possess more than one skill, or be able to acquire extra skills in time. There were hundreds of possible combinations of eight people possessing these skills; there turned up three combinations of four married couples possessing them, plus health and intelligence.-but in all three cases the group-dynamicists who evaluated the temperament factors for compatibility threw up their hands in horror.
The prime contractor suggested lowering the compatibility figure-of-merit; the Institute stiffly
offered to return its one dollar fee...
Captain Michael Brunt, M.S., Cmdr. D. F. Reserve, pilot (unlimited license), and veteran at thirty
of the Moon run, seems to have had an inside track at the Institute, someone who was willing to look up for him the names of single female volunteers who might (with him) complete a crew... This would account for his action in jetting to Australia and proposing marriage to Doctor Winifred Coburn, a horse-faced spinster semantician nine years his senior. Lights blinked, punched cards popped out, and a crew for the Envoy had been found...
Read Going to Mars: The Human Challenges or pay The Scientist at Next Stop, Mars.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/14/2005)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...' - Cory Doctorow, 2003.
Sex In Driverless Cars? Updated With Video!
'...admirable for petting.' - David H. Keller, 1935.
Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.' - William Gibson, 1996.
Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...' - Philip K. Dick, 1964.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'
Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'
China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'
China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'
Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '
Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'
Johns Hopkins Says Asteroid Deflection Will Be Difficult
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...'
Fabric Automatically Cools Or Insulates Based On Environment
'...a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system.'
Deepfakes From OpenAI GPT-2 Algorithm
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'
John Deere Self-Driving Tractor
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.'
North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'
Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'
Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'
Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'
Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories