Interaction and communication abilities in a multicultural crew simulating living and working habits at Mars Desert Research Station

Future interplanetary crewmembers will be micro-societies like autonomous and auto-organized systems far from the Earth. They will have to live and work together in small habitat units as it is simulated at Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, USA. Missions become longer and the multi-national heterogeneity of the crews becomes new characteristics to emphasize. The purpose of this study is to combine ethological and anthropological methods for quantitative and qualitative descriptions of the crew’s non-verbal and verbal behavior during a 15-day period, characterized by a multicultural background (French, Danish, Australian and American). The results show global high occurrences of visual interactions compared to both facial, body and object interactions. Differences of language skill have an impact on communication abilities. Subjects using no-native languages compensate with interaction abilities. With the evolving of common working and living habits, some will actively interact, others will actively communicate and the whole will be involved in dynamic process of adaptation with cultural diversity as salutogenic factor.