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Thursday, March 10, 2016

HI-SEAS Mission

The HI-SEAS habitat stands on the northern slope of Mauna Loa in Hawaii in March. | AFP-JIJI
We don't have a spaceship to take us to Mars yet, but we are getting ready anyway. NASA and the University of Hawaii have been running simulations of what it would be like to be cooped up in close quarters, a long way from home for a long period of time. It's not totally realistic, after all it's on Earth, not on Mars, but they have rules that they follow to more accurately simulate a real mission. There's a 20 minute delay in communications with their base. They have to wear 'space suits' when they go outside. They do get food supplies periodically, but they are delivered by robot, not by a person. And they are at 8,000 feet elevation on the side of a volcano. Not much air at that altitude, though certainly a lot more than there is on Mars, but just look at the terrain. Looks a whole lot like Mars to me.
     The whole point is to see if a small group can get along and continue to function when they are isolated for long periods of time like this. Small groups have been making long voyages on ships sailing on the oceans for a long time, but on those voyages you touch port at least occasionally. Going to Mars you are going to be cut off for years.
    Bayou Renaissance Man clued me in.

1 comment:

Ole Phat Stu said...

The Crewmembers' blogs are here :-
http://hi-seas.org/?cat=97

Stu