Hawaii, January 20: Mars have always been the planet of human interests. Many number of satellites, missions are taken up to study the planet Mars. Scientists are keen to explore whether the existence of humans on Mars is possible or not? Are there any chances for life to survive?
To get a solution a group of scientists from NASA entered in an isolated dome at a Hawaii volcano on Thursday. They are going to stay for eight months in the dome to study the human behavior in space exploration. Around 6 scientists have entered in the Mauna Loa volcano and will not have any physical contact with the outside world for at least eight months. This mission is called as Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation or HI-SEAS. This is the 3rd round of research funded by NASA.
This study will examine the psychological barriers associated with living in isolated conditions for a certain time period. This will look into the “human behavior” such as living on the planet Mars.
While on Mission:
The scientists are required to wear spacesuits whenever they leave dome. They are not supposed to have “physical human contact” with any person from the outside world. They are supposed to eat ‘freeze-dried space food’. They will have to work with ’20-min delay in communication’ as it is the time which takes for a signal and a message to get from Earth to reach to the planet Mars in real life. Researchers are required to wear equipments around their necks to measure their moods and proximity to the other team members. They'll also use virtual reality devices to simulate familiar and comforting surroundings they wouldn't have access to while living on Mars. They will wear space suits whenever they leave the compound to conduct daily tasks including geological and mapping studies.
At least 700 people applied to take part in this mission out of those 7 were selected after going through cognitive and personality tests with interviews.
The place to stay for scientist:
The 1200-square-foot simulated space home has small sleeping quarters for each member as well as a kitchen, laboratory and bathroom.
Objectives of Mission:
Researchers are bound with the conditions in order to study the nature of human behavior. Psychological difficulties which arise from living in seclusion will be studied. Since scientist have dreamt of sending humans to Mars for long space trips by 2030s, this mission is working towards it.
Kim Binstead, a University of Hawaii science professor and principal investigator said that “We’re hoping to figure out how best to select individual astronauts, how to compose a crew and how to support that crew on long-duration space missions. The purpose of the study is to reduce the barriers to a human journey to Mars.”