Expedition one: Assessing group dynamics in a desert mars simulation

Sheryl L. Bishop, Steve Dawson, Nishi Rawat, Kate Reynolds, Rachael Eggins

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Purpose: In February, 2003, The Mars Society of Canada and the Mars Society Australia launched a joint venture, Expedition One, involving a four-phase program in which a large team of 26 people rotated through the MDRS Utah desert habitat to carry out an integrated program. With 14 researchers in residence at any one time, Expedition One culminated in Phase IV, a final 6-day phase with a 7 person crew in residence and 3 others away from the habitat on a 5 day rover traverse. A specific focus of this study was to investigate the role of personality and stress levels on crew interactions and mission functioning during the Phase IV segment. The overall purpose was to characterize the Mars-like Mission Environment in terms of its Stressors, and to develop countermeasures for future crews aimed at increasing crew performance and mission success. Methodology: The measures utilized in this study assessed crew psychological traits, perceptions of group/team functioning, and stress states. Results: Data from the 10 Phase IV team members was collected: 7 men and 3 women, age ranged from 22-61 years of age. EVA activities fostered the formation of two subgroups which represented a source of stress and provoked incidences of conflict. Correlations between assessments of fairness and respect, stress, organizational citizenship behaviour, motivation and personality measures (NEO-PI, AstroPCI, Revised Jenkins Activity) returned a pattern of significant relationships. Conclusions: Results from these various measures during Phase IV support the formation of subgroups as well as significant relationships between personal and group functioning, personality and stress measures.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Number of pages11
    StatePublished - 2004
    EventInternational Astronautical Federation - 55th International Astronautical Congress 2004 - Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: Oct 4 2004Oct 8 2004


    OtherInternational Astronautical Federation - 55th International Astronautical Congress 2004

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Space and Planetary Science
    • Aerospace Engineering


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