A recent issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science has a fantastic article from our own Ed Salas and his colleagues that expounds on the needs of teams for extreme missions such as space exploration. For me, this was a dreamy combination of some of my favorite topics: teamwork, space, extreme cases, and ideation.
Researchers from a variety of disciplines are currently working with NASA to prepare for human exploration of Mars in the next decades. Such exploration will take scientific discovery to new heights, providing unprecedented information about the geology, atmosphere, and potential for life on Mars, including previous life, current life, and perhaps even our own lives in the future. To make these unparalleled discoveries, however, astronauts will need to undertake a novel and unprecedented journey. Moreover, the mission to Mars will require a team of crew members who will have to endure and sustain team performance requirements never seen before. Multidisciplinary teams of scientists have begun to provide the needed steps to address this challenge.