Issues Facing Crew Selection for Long Duration Space Flight Missions

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Andrew Nakushian
John E. Deaton


This paper looks at the issues facing the selection and composition of a crew for a long-duration mission to Mars. It also considers the many psychological and physiological challenges that crew members will face on long-duration space flight. These factors are important because the United States has set ambitious goals of returning to the Moon and going to Mars. The United States has expressed that it intends to set up permanent settlements on both of these bodies. A thorough review is necessary to determine gaps in research that need to be addressed before a safe flight. After a review and discussion of previous research and industry practices, multiple areas of future research were identified. The areas of future research include crew personality, conflict resolution, and mental health. Previous research indicates that the use of the Antarctic as a research analog could aid in answering these and other questions regarding long-duration space flight. This topic of research is important because the United States has expressed interest in returning to the Moon for extended missions and eventually journeying to Mars.

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