A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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 -
Do Aliens Have A 'Non-Interference' Prime Directive?
'... it was against the law for our people to visit Earth.' - George Parsons Lathrup, 1897.
Collie Dog Suit Fulfills His Dream - Of Walking In Public As A Dog
'The Lon Chaney of the interstellar set.' - Roger Zelazny, 1976.
Jonathan Swift in 1726 Predicted AI-Generated Crap Overwhelming Amazon In 2023
'...the most ignorant person... might write books... without the least assistance from genius or study.' - Jonathan Swift, 1726.
Virtual Reality: Is Technology Alone Enough To Fully Enter A New World?
'Otherwise what good are the Perky Pat layouts to them?' - Philip K. Dick, 1969.
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.
Barista Robot Perfects Latte Swirl With Multi-DOF Wriggle
'It's done with a flip of the third joint of the tentacle on the down beat.'
Vendetta 2023 All-Terrain Skateboard Could Use Neal Stephenson's Smartwheels
'If you surf over a bump... If you surf over a pothole...'
Safe Street Rebel Autonomous Vehicle Luddites And Schachner's 1931 Robot-Deranger
'Then the spreading beam of the deranging ray struck them, and they stood an instant transfixed...'
The Electric Balance Bicycle And The Decline Of Western Civilization
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed...'
'Droplet' Battery Microscale Power Pack
'...a power pack the size of a pea.'
ARX-5 Doing Robot Arm Dancing
It's Data's day - at last.
CD, DVD Bit Rot And PKD's Civic Notification Distorter
'...copy two of the original document no longer can be superimposed on copy one.'
Inbiodroid Prometheus 2.0 Telepresence Avatar Robot
My prize robot, tall, dashing would speak and act for me...
Amazon One Is Frank Herbert's Palm Lock
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape and palm lines.'
DroneDog Ground Security Robot Dogs From Asylon
'I have transferred the ego of a dog to a synthetic dog brain in the skull case of a robot dog.'
Who Knows What Might Be Found When Visiting A Metal Asteroid?
'...inspect the tiny speck of matter that swam toward them out of the bottomless void.'
Giant Lunar Surface Test Bed Built On Earth
Astronauts first walked the site, then flew over the site at a few hundred feet in a small Cessna.
FlyCroTug Drones Work In Teams Now
'It slid smoothly out of its cell like a metal wasp emerging from its nest, and hung in midair.'
Zai Pits (West Sahel) And Dew Collectors (Dune)
'Each is planted most tenderly in its own little pit.'
Delivery Robots Being Bullied, Robbed
'Robots have worse problems than anybody.' (A Present for Pat)
Zoom Education Idea Is 100 Years Old
'... the frosted glass squares began, one by one, to show the faces and shoulders of a peculiar type of young men.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories