What’s It’s Like To Live On Mars: Astronauts In A Simulator For Months Near A Volcano In Hawaii

by 5 months ago
Mauna Loa volano Hawaii

Shutterstock / Gilles Baechler

Assuming the earth isn’t decimated by nuclear warfare, there will come a time when humans seek to live on Mars for an extended period of time. If you’ve seen the Matt Damon film The Martian where he gets trapped on Mars for an extended period of time and has to fend for himself then you already know that the solitary life of living on a barren planet is no cake walk.

NASA runs simulations all over the planet so that astronauts can prepare for a life in space. One of those simulations involves living in seclusion for around 8 months near Hawaii’s Mauna Loa. The entire exercise and simulation is designed to prepare an astronaut for a life on Mars. Here’s what that entails:

Here’s some of the transcript from above, via Tech Insider:

Not only is it logistically challenging to live inside a geodesic dome for eight months even if you’re on Earth, it can also do a number on your psychological state. One of the biggest concerns with a long space mission is the impact it has on the crew’s mental and emotional well-being. It’s one big psychological experiment.
So, what’s it actually like living in isolation with just five other people for eight months?
Joshua Ehrlich: “It slowly adds up till you realize, man, I miss feeling the wind. I miss getting a sunburn. I miss jumping into the ocean.”
Josh’s duty to his crew and to the mission kept him invested in the project, but dedication in itself can’t be enough to keep everyone sane and on good terms with each other, right? Conflicts will come up. People will inevitably get on each other’s nerves.
Joshua Ehrlich: “Communication, when you are all on the same page, man, you can do anything. If there’s something bothering you just say it. A few words can go miles to getting things done — to accomplishing.”
What Josh learned on this mission, he says, can be applied to anyone. These aren’t just rules to live by when you’re trapped in a dome in Hawaii pretending you’re on Mars. (via)

I can’t say that I’m cut out for a life in space. I need to be barefoot at home, not wearing those comfy astronaut slippers. I need to be able to go outside and walk around, eat different foods. Play golf and go fishing. The thought of being stuck inside a space research station is not one that sits well with me, but this dude seems to dig it.

TAGSHawaiiLiving On MarsMarsNASASpaceSpace Simulation

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