Scientists exit Hawaii dome after yearlong Mars simulation

August 28, 2016
The HI-SEAS habitat on the northern slope of Mauna Loa in Hawaii where six people lived in isolation for a year in a NASA experiment to prepare for a journey to Mars

Six scientists have completed a yearlong Mars simulation in Hawaii, where they lived in a dome in near isolation.

For the past year, the group in the dome on a Mauna Loa mountain could go outside only while wearing spacesuits.

On Sunday, the ended, and the scientists emerged.

Cyprien Verseux, a crew member from France, said the simulation shows a mission to Mars can succeed.

"I can give you my personal impression which is that a mission to Mars in the close future is realistic. I think the technological and psychological obstacles can be overcome," Verseux said.

Christiane Heinicke, a crew member from Germany, said the scientists succeeded in finding their own water in a dry climate.

"Showing that it works, you can actually get water from the ground that is seemingly dry. It would work on Mars and the implication is that you would be able to get water on Mars from this little greenhouse construct," she said.

Tristan Bassingthwaighte, a doctor of architecture candidate at University of Hawaii, served as the crew's architect.

"The UH research going on up here is just super vital when it comes to picking crews, figuring out how people are going to actually work on different kinds of missions, and sort of the human factors element of space travel, colonization, whatever it is you are actually looking at," Bassingthwaighte said.

Kim Binsted, principal investigator for the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS), said the researchers are looking forward to getting in the ocean and eating fresh produce and other foods that weren't available in the dome.

"HI-SEAS is an example of international collaborative research hosted and run by the University of Hawai'i. So it's really exciting to be able to welcome the crew back to earth and back to Hawai'i after a year on Mars," Binsted said.

NASA funded the study run through the University of Hawaii. Binsted said the simulation was the second-longest of its kind after a mission that lasted 520 days in Russia.

Scientists in the Hawaii simulation managed limited resources while conducting research and working to avoid personal conflicts.

Explore further: One year and counting: Mars isolation experiment begins

Related Stories

Second HI-SEAS Mars space analog study begins

March 31, 2014

A new space odyssey began tonight as the six crew members of the new Hawai'i Space Exploration and Analog Simulation (HI-SEAS) mission entered their remote habitat on the first night of a four-month-long journey.

Recommended for you

Mars rover Opportunity on walkabout near rim

June 23, 2017

NASA's senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is examining rocks at the edge of Endeavour Crater for signs that they may have been either transported by a flood or eroded in place by wind.

CHESS mission will check out the space between stars

June 23, 2017

Deep in space between distant stars, space is not empty. Instead, there drifts vast clouds of neutral atoms and molecules, as well as charged plasma particles called the interstellar medium—that may, over millions of years, ...

Dutch astronomers discover recipe to make cosmic glycerol

June 23, 2017

A team of laboratory astrophysicists from Leiden University (the Netherlands) managed to make glycerol under conditions comparable to those in dark interstellar clouds. They allowed carbon monoxide ice to react with hydrogen ...

Scientists uncover origins of the Sun's swirling spicules

June 22, 2017

At any given moment, as many as 10 million wild jets of solar material burst from the sun's surface. They erupt as fast as 60 miles per second, and can reach lengths of 6,000 miles before collapsing. These are spicules, and ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Thorium Boy
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2016
They should have put cobalt 60 sources in with them to duplicate the radiation they'll get on the trip to Mars and their stay there.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.