"When you boil it down to the psychological level, there is physical misery, separation (from families), uncertainty and ambiguity about the future," explained U.S. Army Col. Tom Kolditz of Westpoint.
Many psychological studies have been carried out on soldiers, so there are plenty of resources available for the on-site support team to refer to.
However, one reason why some ISS and Mir studies haven't seen similar trends in morale as Stuster's research could be that all astronauts are in constant communication with the ground to ensure they stay busy, on schedule and in their natural rhythm.
"We didn't find that on Mir or the ISS, and it was mainly because of great support the guys got from the ground, both in the US and Russia," said Nick Kanas of the University of California, San Francisco, who helped lead earlier studies.
Learning from NASA's experience, the key thing to maintain the mental health of the trapped miners will be to keep them occupied, even though they are trapped in such mundane conditions. Morale needs to be bolstered, and good communication with the ground crews - with familiar colleagues relaying information - will help maintain trust.