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STATES CHRONICLE – In January, NASA sent six scientists in a special dome in Hawaii, in an attempt to simulate the conditions on Mars, and see how humans would cope with living there. Therefore, they had to spend eight months in isolation, eat frozen food, and see if they are ready to go on a human exploration mission on the Red Planet.
Scientists wanted to find out how a human would react to the conditions present in any long-term space mission. These conditions might affect humans physically, but spending so much time in isolation has a more powerful impact from a psychological point of view. This way, both NASA and the crew per se should know what to expect during a two- or three-years-long journey to Mars.
Therefore, the six scientists, four men and two women, were put at a great test, and were left alone for eight months in a dome near Mauna Loa, in Hawaii. Therefore, they couldn’t see anyone besides the crew members. They could communicate with the outside world, but these communications were limited.
This means that, once they sent a message, it reached its destination after 20 days, and the same thing happened if they received a message from outside. NASA adopted this delay since this is the amount of time that information takes to reach Earth, if it is sent from Mars.
Scientists had their mental state into close observation
Such conditions could seriously affect the mental state of the scientists, so NASA developed an advanced technology to monitor any changes which might occur with them. They wore some suits with special sensors which recorded their emotions. Also, NASA was interested in seeing how the crew members would cooperate.
Through games, they could see if two scientists were compatible or not, and could find out when any of them got into a bad mood. Fortunately, they had ways to calm down. Any time they felt the situation became unbearable, they could escape into some virtual reality simulations meant to bring them back in control.
NASA estimates the first manned mission to Mars should take place around 2030. Until then, there’s plenty of time to get the crew ready for what they might experience, and to be aware of what they might need on such an extensive journey.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons