The Mars Isolation Project continues to test the will of its participants. In preparation for a longly awaited journey to the Red Planet, NASA locked six future astronauts inside a dome located at the bottom of Mauna Loa, Hawaii. The experiment will be the lengthiest of its kind.
NASA said that the presence of a physicist and astrobiologist is indispensable during an isolation experiment of such proportion. The rest of the formation includes a pilot, a soil scientist, a doctor and an architect. Two of the crew members are of French and German origin, whereas the rest are all Yankees.
The location selected for the ambitious experiment has little to no greenery and no animal life. The dome houses six private rooms with a desk to study for each person. Most of their food reserves consists of canned tuna and cheese. The crew members will obviously have no access to the Internet and have to wear spacesuits over the entire period of the experiment.
Before asking ourselves why would six men spend a year like this, we need to take into consideration that the six NASA astronauts could show the world that the impossible can be achieved. If their eccentric experiment will prove to be successful, then the possibility for our race to migrate to another Planet might just increase considerably.
The trip to Mars alone will last more than half a year. The whole process could take up to 3 years before completion, but it will be relatively inexpensive.
These six men are all experts in their fields and they accepted to be part of the experiment to learn all they can from experience. The whole experiment will be a test of will for all the participants. They will all be cramped between the dome’s walls, without access to sunlight, natural food, fresh air, but more importantly, human interaction. As the previous experiments have shown, conflicts are bound to arise between crew members.
NASA is spending millions on simulations and tests that seek to recreate the weather conditions of the Red Planet. The agency is doing their best to test the limits of their astronauts in order to prepare for the unforeseen when the real mission will commence.
Photo credits: Wikipedia