Team Simulates the mission to Mars.
For 9 months, on the top of an active volcano in Hawaii, a team of 6 volunteers joins NASA and the University Of Hawaii on their HI-SEAS ( Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) experiment. The selected volunteers, of 3 men and 3 women, went through rigorous psychological and physical evaluations in order to become part of history’s first few steps to stepping foot on Mars.
A huge concern for sending years in space, under pressure, is that conflicts can and will arise. One official from NASA stated; human interaction can be as dangerous as a nuclear bomb. Hence, the added stimulation of being on another planet. The overall goal was to observe how the group fared under this condition as well as tight confinement.
The group spent every day just as the would on Mars. A few feet away from each other at all times, no one had privacy. Some conflict did arise and everyone tried their best to maintain peace.
In the end, the experiment was a complete success. NASA plans to send another team for longer next year and expects to have people on Mars sometime in the next 20 years.
Watch the video below.
As reported by James Gaines with UpWorthy.
“We’ve learned, for one thing, that conflict, even in the best of teams, is going to arise,” principal investigator and professor Kim Binsted told the AP. “So what’s really important is to have a crew that, both as individuals and a group, is really resilient, is able to look at that conflict and come back from it.”
Binsted couldn’t share any details about this year’s crew but said in an email that past crews have dealt with things like miscommunications, the stress of problems back home, and — yes — what to do when a favorite food runs out.
This was the fifth of six planned missions. For their efforts, the newly-freed crew was rewarded with a buffet of food, including fresh pineapple, mango, papaya, and doughnuts. None of it appeared to have been freeze-dried.
NASA hopes to send humans to Mars as soon as the 2030s.