Narrator: This is Science Today. With sixteen nations involved in the construction of the International Space Station, the importance of a psychosocially cohesive in-flight environment is of utmost importance. Nick Kanas, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco who has studied the psychology of space travel for over thirty years, is currently studying several of the crew members for the International Space Station.
Kanas: We have ability to evaluate the language and cultural backgrounds of all the subjects where we are looking at how many languages they speak, how many languages do they speak fluently, what they are, how many years or months they've lived in other countries or have not lived in other countries, their preference and knowledge of other country's foods and how many friends they've had. A whole number of questions.
Narrator: Kanas' previous NASA-funded study of Mir Missions, found American astronauts were not as happy as their Russian counterparts - partly due to cultural differences and feelings of isolation.
Kanas: So work is being done and we just hope to come up with scientifically validated suggestions that may help them do their operational work.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.