Psychology of Space Exploration: Contemporary Research in Historical Perspective

By Douglas A. Vakoch | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
Flying with Strangers: Postmission Reflections of
Multinational Space Crews

Peter Suedfeld1
Department of Psychology
University of British Columbia

Kasia E. Wilk
Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services Research and Evaluation Department
Ministry of Children and Family Development

Lindi Cassel
Department of Occupational Therapy
Providence Health Care


ABSTRACT

After the Space Age began as part of the national rivalry between the USSR and the United States, space exploration gradually took on a multinational character as both countries included astronauts from their respective allies, and eventually from each other, in their missions. This trend became institutionalized in the Shuttle-Mir program and in the construction of the International Space Station (ISS). The latter is the first truly international, as opposed to multinational, space capsule, in that it does not belong to and was not built by one country. In previous cases, one national space agency was always the host and crewmembers from other nations were perceived and treated as guests. This “guest” status, which usually

1. This research was made possible by Contract No. 9F007-033006 with the Canadian Space Agency and is part of the project Long-term Effects After Prolonged Spaceflight (LEAPS). A briefer version of the chapter was presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association in San Francisco, CA, in August 2007. Correspondence should be addressed to Peter Suedfeld, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada, or psuedfeld@psych.ubc.ca.

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