NASA works on a predictive model that could identify potential problems

Scientists are developing¬† manned mission to Mars.anticipate conflicts and communication breakdowns among crew members and head off problems that could make or break the US space agency’s future manned mission to Mars.

NASA has formalised plans to send a crewed spacecraft to Mars, a journey that could involve 250 million miles of travel, said researchers from the Northwestern University in the US.

In a multi-phase study, scientists are studying the behaviour of analogue astronaut crews on mock missions, complete with isolation, sleep deprivation, specially designed tasks and mission control, which mimics real space travel with delayed communication.

The goal is to establish the effects of isolation and confinement on team functioning, to identify methods to improve team performance, to develop a predictive model that NASA could use to assemble the ideal team and identify potential issues with already composed teams before and during the mission.

Even for an astronaut, the psychological demands of this Mars journey will be exceptional.

The spacecraft will be small, roughly the size of a studio apartment, and the round-trip journey will take almost three years.

“Astronauts are super humans. They are people who are incredibly physically fit and extremely smart,” said Leslie DeChurch, a professor at Northwestern University.

“We are taking an already state-of-the-art crew selection system and making it even better by finding the values, traits and other characteristics that will allow NASA to compose crews that will get along,” DeChurch said.

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