NASA Releases Book About Psychology of Human Spaceflight

July 13, 2011

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
RELEASE: 11-223


WASHINGTON -- NASA's History Program Office is releasing a new book
that examines the different psychological factors that affect
astronauts during space travel, especially long-duration missions.

The book, "Psychology of Space Exploration: Contemporary Research in
Historical Perspective," is a collection of essays from leading space
psychologists. They place their recent research in historical context
by looking at changes in space missions and psychosocial science over
the past 50 years. What makes up the "right stuff" for astronauts has
changed as the early space race gave way to international
cooperation. Different coping skills and sensibilities are now
necessary to communicate across cultural boundaries and deal with
interpersonal conflicts.

"The essays give a comprehensive overview of this complex subject,
providing novel insights for behavioral researchers and historians
alike," NASA's Chief Historian Bill Barry said. "The data is
important as we work to send astronauts to Mars, which will mean
longer missions without real-time communication with family and
friends leading to increased potential psychosocial stresses."

The book's editor, Douglas A. Vakoch, is a professor in the Department
of Clinical Psychology at the California Institute of Integral
Studies in San Francisco. He also is a manager at the SETI Institute.

The book is available for purchase through the Government Printing
Office at:

For a review copy, please contact Nadine Andreassen at

For more information about NASA history, visit:

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