FMARS 2007: Stress and coping in an arctic Mars simulation

Sheryl L. Bishop, Ryan Kobrick, Melissa Battler, Kim Binsted

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In 2007, the Mars Society conducted a 4-month simulated Mars exploration mission at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada. In addition to an intense mission research profile, the team operated on the Martian sol, (39 minutes longer than the 24-hour Earth day), for over a month. Team members completed questionnaires on stress, coping, and mood on five occasions throughout the mission. Descriptive analyses indicated differences between individual coping styles across time as well as differences in how the genders coped. Stress increased for males while decreasing for females. Males consistently used more avoidant coping while females utilized task coping and social emotional coping. Males also demonstrated higher levels of excitement, tiredness, and loneliness. Simulations situated in environments characterized by prolonged real isolation and environmental challenges appear to provoke true demands for adaptation rather than temporary situational accommodation as has been evidenced by shorter simulations in laboratories or more benign environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1353-1367
Number of pages15
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Analog environments
  • Coping
  • Extreme environments
  • Isolated
  • Small group dynamics
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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