It will likely be the most grueling and testing time of their lives, as the Mars isolation simulation is underway, and six members will be nearly stretched thin during the year long mission. It will be one step closer to NASA’s testing life on Mars, but it will also be an interesting social study.
It’s hard enough to be put into a room and stay there with friends or people you know you like. It’s to be decided just how hard it will be for the participants to co-exist in tight quarters with some people they might hardly know. Especially on dehydrated food and limited space.
However, it’s for the good of science and space exploration, so hopes are that their time will just fly by.
On August 28, 2015, the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) mission began, with all six members entering the solar-powered white dome, stretching across the rocky and dusty plains at the base of the volcano Mauna Loa.
The diverse crew will spent one year, until August 28th, 2016, replicating the conditions future space travelers will encounter in the next decades when humans will explore the Red Planet.
According to Kim Binstead, HI-SEAS principal investigators, the point is to assess “crewmember cohesion and performance”, in order for NASA to comprehend what sort of team will best be suited for the actual space mission.
The situation could become grueling, so they are attempting to understand the “social and psychological factors” involved in such a close-quartered space for a task that might take up to three years. The team will be monitored by cameras, movement trackers, and other electronic surveys.
Big Brother is watching. However, in this situation, it will certainly be for their own well being.
The crew is made of an architect, an aircraft pilot, a soil scientist, an astrobiologist, a physicist and a doctor/journalist, three of which will be keeping the outside population updated through online blogs.
“Surfing with Aliens”, “Live From Mars”, and “Walking on Red Dust” are the three live record keeping of their journey through which we will be able to read for ourselves how life on the Red Planet is. Or at least, the closest thing to it, which is apparently in Hawaii.
However, members will not exactly be participating in luau parties or surfing. In fact, their only available option to exit the 13,570 square foot two-floored dome, will be with a spacesuit on. Fresh air will be a luxury they will not be afforded in order to better understand the true frustrating details of life on Mars.
The manned mission planned by NASA is set to take place somewhere around 2030, according to the U.S. National Space Policy, and the yearlong simulation will certainly play a big part in best preparing our astronauts for the 140 million mile long journey that will set its mark in the history of humanity, right beside Apollo 13.
Image source: vox.com