Mars500: Scientific protocols

Adaptation, group structure and communications of confined and isolated crews

The Mars 500 facilities provide the unique opportunity to explore some aspects linked to individual and social adaptation to isolated and confined conditions. This protocol will investigate on the one hand some psychological factors of the adaptation process, and on the other hand some psychosocial issues related to group functioning and decision making. The aim is to better understand the psychological adaptation and its repercussions on social and organizational processes (communications, interpersonal relationships).

In order to better understand the subjects’ adaptive responses, this protocol will investigate: their perception of the environmental constraints; their individual adaptive processes; their recovery capabilities, especially after an episode of acute stress and after the mission; the evolution of interpersonal relationships within the crew members, focusing on crew cohesion, interpersonal tensions or even conflicts; and the efficiency of their communications under different conditions. Internal as well as external communications will be analysed.

Verbal and behavioural methods will be used to carry out this protocol. Verbal methods are related on the one hand to questionnaires and tests for the investigation of the subjects’ perception of the situation and of themselves, and on the other hand to the analysis of their communications amongst the crewmembers and to the outside (control centre team, family etc.)

Behavioural methods are related to the observation of interpersonal behaviours, using a wireless monitoring system, which will provide an objective record of the relationships between crewmates in combination with observation by video records.

Science Team: Karine Weiss (FR) et al.

Last update: 26 February 2009

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