Space travellers have traditionally been not kidding, reasonable sorts with the ‘right stuff’ who can be trusted to fly gear worth billions of pounds.
Be that as it may, any mission to Mars will require a ‘joker’ or ‘class clown’ figure to be fruitful, as per NASA inquire about.
A comical inclination will be essential for any group to keep resolve high on a two-year outing to Mars which could occur during the 2030s.
The joker job will be tried in NASA’s gathering mission reproductions at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Jeffrey Johnson, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida, Gainesville is prompting NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog, a task which sees how groups can adapt to extraordinary times of disengagement.
He tended to the American Association for the Advancement of Science yearly gathering on ‘Building a Winning Team for Missions to Mars’.
Professor Johnson said: ‘’Groups work best when they have somebody who takes on the role of class clown.’’
‘’These are people that have the ability to pull everyone together, bridge gaps when tensions appear and really boost morale.’’
‘’We can all think of the person at work who fulfils this role, who makes us laugh and makes the job more enjoyable. People like being around them.’’
‘’When you’re living with others in a confined space for a long period of time, such as on a mission to Mars, tensions are likely to fray.’’
‘’It’s vital you have somebody who can help everyone get along, so they can do their jobs and get there and back safely. It’s mission-critical.’’
But he added: ‘’Being funny won’t be enough to land somebody the job. They also need to be an excellent scientist and engineer and be able to pass a rigorous training regime.’ Professor Johnson has studied isolated groups of people in extreme environments including Russian, Chinese Indian and Polish explorers based in Antarctica.’’
Professor Johnson said of Amundsen: ‘’He had a cook named Adolf Lindstrom. People described him as being someone who laughed and was very jovial and very happy, an entertainer, keeping up people’s spirits.’’
‘’In Amundsen’s diary, he said he had rendered greater service to the Norwegian polar expedition than any other man. He was the clown of that expedition. Scott’s expedition was radically different. They broke into cliques; they didn’t have a cohesive group.’ ‘Astronauts going to Mars need a Lindstrom,’’ he said.
But clowns have to be positive, Professor Johnson said.
‘’There are people who are loving and laughable and jovial and endearing, and therefore bring people together. But others who are cruel. When I worked at the South Pole station there was lots of cruel behaviour. There’s a difference between button pushing and being funny. It’s better to become a mascot – get taken in by the group and loved.’’
‘’It’s pretty universal – it doesn’t matter whether you are Russian, Polish, Chinese, Indian. Group dynamics happen in very similar ways across all human groups.’’
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