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Project Title:  Crew Interactions and Autonomy During Long-Duration Isolation and Confinement (105-Day Russian Chamber Study) Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2010 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 03/01/2009  
End Date: 09/30/2010  
Task Last Updated: 05/11/2011 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Kanas, Nick  M.D. / University of California-San Francisco/Northern California Institute for Research & Education 
Address:  Veterans Affairs Medical Center (116A) 
4150 Clement St. 
San Francisco , CA 94121 
Email: nick.kanas@ucsf.edu 
Phone: 415-750-2072  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: University of California-San Francisco/Northern California Institute for Research & Education 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Neylan, Thomas  University of California, San Francisco 
Boyd, Jennifer  University of California, San Francisco 
Weiss, Daniel  University of California, San Francisco 
Marmar, Charles  New York University Medical Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-NBPF00005 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-NBPF00005 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Team:Risk of Performance and Behavioral Health Decrements Due to Inadequate Cooperation, Coordination, Communication, and Psychosocial Adaptation within a Team (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Team06:Given the context of long duration missions, what are ways to support and enable multiple distributed autonomous teams to support task performance, teamwork, and psycho-social performance? (Wordsmithed, now Team Gap 6, per IRP Rev D)
Task Description: Crewmembers participating in long-duration space missions beyond the Earth-Moon environment will have more autonomy than in previous on-orbit missions or missions to the Moon. During previous on-orbit and lunar space missions, personnel in mission control generally have timelined and coordinated crewmember work schedules, and crew-ground communications have been frequent and in real time. However, during future expeditionary missions beyond the Earth-Moon neighborhood, the long distances and mission durations will increase crewmember autonomy dramatically. Crewmembers will be responsible for planning most of their work schedules and dealing with emergencies that arise. Furthermore, there will be lags in two-way communication with the Earth of up to 44 minutes from the surface of Mars. It is not known how this increased autonomy will affect crewmember performance and safety and what its impact will be on mission control operations on Earth.

Our study of increased crewmember autonomy was conducted through the Mars 500 Program at the Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow. The Mars 500 Program is designed to study the performance and interactions of a group of six individuals confined for 520 days (and began in June 2010). The lower floor of the simulation habitat contains living and laboratory areas for the crew, and the upper floor is a mock-up of the Mars surface on which the crew can simulate geological and other planetary activities. We participated in a 105 day pilot simulation from March 31 to July 14, 2009.

In order to study the impact of high versus low crew autonomy on crewmembers and mission control personnel, we studied the 6 men in the isolation chamber, along with 18 outside individuals who monitored their activities in a simulated mission control. During the first 10 weeks of the mission, the crew interacted with mission control under a low autonomy condition, where the latter developed the work schedule and communicated with the former in real time. During the last 5 weeks, a high autonomy condition was instituted, where crewmembers planned and revised their work schedule and where a 40-minute Mars-like communication delay occurred with the outside monitors.

Our methodology was similar to that used in our previous on-orbit studies involving the Mir and International Space Station, where we evaluated mood and group interpersonal climate, both in space and in mission control. After signing informed consent, crew and mission control subjects participating in the 105 day simulation completed a weekly study questionnaire that included items from the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and two group climate measures, the Group Environment Scale (GES) and the Work Environment Scale (WES). From these measures, weekly mean subscale scores were calculated that gave us an indication of psychological constructs such as tension and other emotional states, group cohesion, and the task and support roles of the leader. Additionally, we constructed and piloted six new weekly questions that attempted to measure crewmember individual and group work planning freedom, work performance efficiency, and work performance accuracy.

The results suggested that high work autonomy was well-received by the crew, mission goals were accomplished, and there were no adverse effects. During the high autonomy period, crewmember mood and self direction were reported as being better, but mission control personnel reported more anxiety and work role confusion. Despite scoring lower in work pressure overall, the four Russian crewmembers reported a greater rise in work pressure from low to high autonomy than the two Europeans. In contrast, the European crewmembers reported a greater rise in negative dysphoric mood in going from low to high autonomy, whereas the Russians' emotional state remained the same or slightly improved. Work freedom was rated slightly higher during high autonomy, but work performance was about the same overall, although Russian scores increased and European scores decreased on all four performance measures.

Increased autonomy can be safe and advantageous. It is time to study the effects of high autonomy with larger subject samples during on-orbit space missions (e.g., to the International Space Station) in order to prepare for future deep space exploratory missions, where high autonomy will be the norm.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Crewmembers participating in long-duration space missions beyond the Earth-Moon environment will have more autonomy than in previous on-orbit missions or missions to the Moon. During previous on-orbit and lunar space missions, personnel in mission control generally have timelined and coordinated crewmember work schedules, and crew-ground communications have been frequent and in real time. However, during future expeditionary missions beyond the Earth-Moon neighborhood, the long distances and mission durations will increase crewmember autonomy dramatically. Crewmembers will be responsible for planning most of their work schedules and dealing with emergencies that arise. Furthermore, there will be lags in two-way communication with the Earth of up to 44 minutes from the surface of Mars. It is not known how this increased autonomy will affect crewmember performance and safety and what its impact will be on mission control operations on Earth.

In 2006, we were directed by NASA/Johnson Space Center to study the impact of high autonomy on crewmembers and monitoring personnel involved with a variety of space simulation missions conducted on Earth in an effort to prepare for expeditionary missions to Mars and other distant locations. The current ground simulation study was conducted through the Mars 500 Program at the Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow. The MARS 500 Program is designed to study the performance and interactions of a group of six individuals confined for 520 days. We participated in a 105 day pilot simulation. The Specific Aims of our study were: to assess the impact of higher crewmember autonomy on crew and mission control mood and group interpersonal climate (using previous questionnaire scales), and to assess crewmember individual and group work planning freedom, work performance efficiency, and work performance accuracy (using newly constructed pilot measures).

Results from this study indicated that increased crew autonomy can be safe and advantageous. It is time to study the effects of high autonomy with larger subject samples during on-orbit space missions (e.g., to the International Space Station) in order to prepare for future deep space exploratory missions, where high autonomy will be the norm.

Additionally, some of findings contributed to recommendations regarding the recent Chilean miner isolation event [see below].

References

1. Kanas, N. Notes for the Underground. Summary of NASA research as it applies to the trapped Chilean miners. The New York Times Op-Ed Section, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/30/opinion/30kanas.html?_r=1 , August 29, 2010.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2010 
Task Progress: Crewmembers participating in long-duration space missions beyond the Earth-Moon environment will have more autonomy than in previous on-orbit missions or missions to the Moon. We participated in a 105 day pilot simulation from March 31 to July 14, 2009 as part of the Mars 500 Program at the Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow. Results from this study indicated that increased crew autonomy can be safe and advantageous. It is time to study the effects of high autonomy with larger subject samples during on-orbit space missions (e.g., to the International Space Station) in order to prepare for future deep space exploratory missions, where high autonomy will be the norm.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 03/17/2017)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Kanas N, Saylor S, Harris M, Neylan T, Boyd J, Weiss DS, Baskin P, Cook C, Marmar C. "High versus low crewmember autonomy in space simulation environments." Acta Astronaut. 2010 Oct-Nov;67(7-8):731-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2010.05.009 , Oct-2010
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Kanas N. "From Earth's orbit to the outer planets and beyond: Psychological issues in space." Acta Astronaut. 2011 Mar-Apr;68(5-6):576-81. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2010.04.012 , Mar-2011
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Kanas N. "Expedition to Mars: Psychological, interpersonal, and psychiatric issues." Journal of Cosmology. 2010 Oct-Dec;12:3741-7. http://journalofcosmology.com/Mars114.html , Oct-2010
Papers from Meeting Proceedings Kanas N, Harris M, Neylan T, Boyd J, Weiss D, Cook C, Saylor S. "High versus low crewmember autonomy during a 105-day Mars simulation mission." 61st International Astronautical Congress, Prague, Czech Republic, September 27-October 1, 2010.

61st International Astronautical Congress, Proceedings, p. 1-4, 2010. , Sep-2010

Papers from Meeting Proceedings Kanas N, Saylor S, Harris M, Neylan T, Boyd J, Weiss D, Baskin P, Cook C, Marmar C. "High versus low crewmember autonomy in space simulation environments." 60th International Astronautical Congress, Daejeon, Republic of Korea, October 12-16, 2009.

60th International Astronautical Congress, Proceedings, p. 1-8, 2009. Paper IAC-09.A1.1.7. , Oct-2009

Significant Media Coverage Kanas N. "'Notes for the Underground.' Summary of NASA psychosocial research as it applies to the trapped Chilean miners published in The New York Times." The New York Times, August 30, 2010, p. A17. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/30/opinion/30kanas.html?_r=1 , August 29, 2010., Aug-2010
Project Title:  Crew Interactions and Autonomy During Long-Duration Isolation and Confinement (105-Day Russian Chamber Study) Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2009 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 03/01/2009  
End Date: 02/28/2010  
Task Last Updated: 09/04/2009 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Kanas, Nick  M.D. / University of California-San Francisco/Northern California Institute for Research & Education 
Address:  Veterans Affairs Medical Center (116A) 
4150 Clement St. 
San Francisco , CA 94121 
Email: nick.kanas@ucsf.edu 
Phone: 415-750-2072  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: University of California-San Francisco/Northern California Institute for Research & Education 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Marmar, Charles  University of California, San Francisco 
Boyd, Jennifer  University of California, San Francisco 
Weiss, Daniel  University of California, San Francisco 
Neylan, Thomas  University of California, San Francisco 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-NBPF00005 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-NBPF00005 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Team:Risk of Performance and Behavioral Health Decrements Due to Inadequate Cooperation, Coordination, Communication, and Psychosocial Adaptation within a Team (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Team06:Given the context of long duration missions, what are ways to support and enable multiple distributed autonomous teams to support task performance, teamwork, and psycho-social performance? (Wordsmithed, now Team Gap 6, per IRP Rev D)
Task Description: During long missions, crews will face stressors that are significantly different from those experienced during short missions. Communications delays will impact the ability to communicate with Earth in real time, making it difficult to speak with family members and friends for support or to get information from mission control in time to help with a crisis. The crew will be more autonomous and self-sufficient. Higher crew member autonomy may influence psychosocial factors such as crew well-being, perceived tension and work pressure, group cohesion, as well as task performance.

This project will evaluate the mood, interpersonal interactions and performance of the crew members and mission control personnel in the 105-Day mission. These groups will be studied under two conditions: low crew autonomy (where the work schedule is planned by mission control, much like current space missions) and high crew autonomy (where the crew members plan and troubleshoot their own work schedule, much like what would occur during exploration missions). The project will also evaluate the experiment's impact on mission control and on the crew-ground relationship.

It is hypothesized that crew member mood, group interaction, and performance will be as good or better during high autonomy periods compared to low autonomy periods. Particularly, crew members are anticipated to show more positive affect, greater cohesion and less work pressure in the high autonomy condition.

Additional hypotheses will be tested relating to:

Presence or absence of group stages during the mission scenario, particularly increased tension and decreased cohesion in the third quarter;

Presence of displacement during the isolation period;

Cultural differences among crew and ground personnel; and

Relationship of the task and support roles of the leader to group cohesion.

Before, during and after the isolation, the crew member and the mission control personnel will complete a weekly Study Questionnaire, which takes approximately 20 minutes. The questionnaire is composed of three well-validated, reliable measures that have been used extensively in previous research: the Profile of Mood States, the Group Environment Scale, and the Work Environment Scale. A Critical Incident Log and new questions about autonomy and individual and group performance are also included as part of the weekly questionnaire.

The information gained through this study will inform long-duration mission planners of the psychosocial and work issues that will be relevant to planning such missions. Knowing how a crew is likely to react behaviorally and psychologically to a condition of high autonomy will also be advantageous for mission control personnel.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The result of this study will help us in planning future studies of low versus high autonomy in space on-board the ISS. The results also will translate to work groups on Earth and the effectiveness of increased group autonomy on work place mood, interpersonal interactions, and performance. Many of our variables, such as displacement of dysphoria to outside groups, task versus emotional leadership characteristics, and the effect of national and organizational culture on worker well-being and performance, have obvious implications for national and international working groups on Earth.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2009 
Task Progress: New project for FY2009.

The mission took place from March 31 to July 14, 2009. Data were collected and sent to us in August. We currently are analyzing the data. We expect to be finished with our analyses and to have written up the findings by the end of the grant period.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 03/17/2017)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2009