Pent-Up NASA Scientists Simulate Life On Mars

Six scientists funded by NASA are about to begin six months of simulated life on Mars. In Hawaii. They will make their home in a dome simulator that’s just 36 feet wide and 20 feet tall, designed to closely simulate the Red Planet’s conditions.


(Astronauts on Mars - in Hawaii)

“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,” Dr. Kim Binstead, a University of Hawaii science professor and the project’s principle investigator, said in a press statement. “Right now, all of our eggs for life are in one basket. I think it’s a good overall strategy for us as a species to spread out further.”

The scientists will wear devices around their necks to measure their moods and proximity to other team members...

The team will even have an artificial 20-minute delay in communications, the time it would take for an email to reach Earth from Mars.

“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,” Cyprien Verseux, a French astrobiologist who served in a previous Mars dome experiment, told Phys.org.

The Hawaiian Mars simulation is almost unique because of its remote accessibility, Mars-like weather and geography, and proximity to the summit of the world’s largest active volcano.

It's not an exact match, but I was reminded of Dr. David H. Keller's 1932 short story The Pent House, in which a millionaire creates an entirely sealed environment for two lucky Manhattanites to live for five full years. In the story, it is feared that a space-borne plague will wipe out humanity; this is his plan to save an Adam and an Eve.


(The Pent House from Amazing Stories, December 1932)

"...I am building, and am just about finished with it, a seventy-story apartment house. On the top is a pent-house which is rather unusual in architecture and size. It is really most complete in every way, and entirely self-sustaining as far as all service is concerned. That gives it complete isolation. It is really a lonely island in the air; but instead of a sky for a roof it has a roof of glass, opaque glass of a very satisfactory thickness.
(Read more about Keller's pent house)

Via The Libertarian Republic.

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