Four people will soon be moving into what has been called the most realistic Mars base ever created to experience what it would be like to live in space, 157.12 million miles from Earth.
The Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM) base is a hermetically sealed habitat located at the University of Arizona Biosphere 2.
On April 26th, Cassandra Klos, Commander and Crew Photographer; Dr. Eiman Jahangir, Medical Officer; Bailey Burns, Engineer; and Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen, Communications officer, Accessibility officer will perform scientific research that will be used in future space habitat design, astronaut well-being and human spaceflight in general.
Perhaps they can also figure out a way for the first settlers on Mars not to die a horrific death.
On the plus side (?), should those settlers die, later Mars settlers can just use their blood to make concrete and eat the bodies for sustenance.
New Scientist reports…
Unlike the other numerous Mars base analogues that have been built around the world, the SAM facility will be fully pressurised and hermetically sealed, just as a real lunar or Mars base would be – although at a far lower pressure differential with the outside. This means that the “astronauts” aboard SAM will have to wear pressurised spacesuits and pass through airlocks every time they leave the habitat and go “outside”. The outdoor portion is a fully enclosed but not pressurised yard, complete with rocks and soil similar to those on Mars, and will soon also have a harness system to simulate Martian gravity.
The SAM website states that it “integrates the Biosphere 2 prototype Test Module greenhouse (TM) with an adjacent crew quarters and workshop, kitchen, common area, and private sleeping accommodations.”
The site continues, “Pressure suits, rovers, and drones can be tested over varied terrain and obstacles. A massive synthetic lava tube with skylight will support other-world cave exploration and a gravity off-set rig to provide the experience of exploring on foot in lower gravitational fields.”
Sounds like a party.