How Astronauts Get Along NASA Science

Astronauts have a cool demeanor and good people-skills, but six months in a tiny spaceship with the same crewmates can drive anyone to distraction. Once, I was evaluating astronaut applicants,” says psychiatrist Nick Kanas. “I asked them to give me some examples of things that might cause stress.” One applicant, a test pilot, recalled the time he was flying an experimental aircraft and it spun out of control. As the plane spiraled down, he took out his manual, calmly thumbed through it, and figured out how to pull the plane to safety. “His ability to temporarily control his emotions was very striking,” laughs Kanas.