Skip navigation
B. Crewmembers in Space May Benefit from a Recent Psychological Study

Narrator: This is Science Today. Future crews aboard Alpha, the international space station, are likely to benefit from a mood study of the former Mir space station. The NASA-funded study conducted by Dr. Nick Kanas, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, found the American astronauts and ground control crew were unhappier than their Russian counterparts.

Kanas: Sort of in a nutshell, the Americans perceived their work environment as having more pressure and as being less attuned to them expressing themselves openly and to getting support from leadership than the Russians did.

Narrator: Kanas' research concluded that part of the problem with Mir was the three-person crew of two Russians and one American, which caused feelings of isolation and stress.

Kanas: I think NASA has taken it seriously - it's being discussed by other groups, as well as NASA. The Russians and I think some of the partner countries and at some point in time, I hope that some of our recommendations will come out in further training modules and during the in-flight support that will take some of the factors into account that we studied.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.