The first experiments modeling peoples’ behavior during a long-term cosmic flight revealed the need for a more systematic monitoring of the development of the crew’s mutual relationships, particularly in terms of collaboration and work-related communication. For this reason, in order to examine team dynamics, the sociomapping method was developed, which was first used in the HUBES 94 and ECOPSY 95 experiments. This method allows for an analysis and visualization of the continuous changes in communication and collaboration, including decreases in their quality and quantity. Sociomapping was used to monitor and analyze the communication and collaboration in simulations of flights to Mars in the Mars-105 and Mars-500 experiments. Based on the aforementioned experiments, it can be noted that statistically significant and nonrandom declines of the quantity and quality of team communication may occur during long-term missions, which may be related to changes in the team’s performance. These changes are influenced by exterior stress factors, as well as cultural and linguistic differences and the length of the flight itself. In this chapter, the main findings of the experiment, as well as the resulting recommendations for a successful management of the psychological aspects of a flight to Mars, will be summarized.
Part of the book: Mars Exploration