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Hawaii scientists to live in dome for 8 months

  • COURTESY HAWAI'I SPACE EXPLORATION ANALOG AND SIMULATION
    Five crew members with the second Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation mission have completed a simulated four-month stay on Mars in a geodesic dome habitat on the slopes of Mauna Loa. Lucie Poulet, right, uses a NASA Kennedy Space Center Swamp Works tool while Annie Caraccio records data.
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Six scientists will be isolated in a dome habitat on Hawaii’s Big Island for eight months to simulate a trip to Mars.

They’re part of a human performance study funded by NASA. The crew of the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation mission will be monitored using surveillance cameras, body movement trackers and electronic surveys.

It’s twice as long as the four-month simulation conducted there last spring.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii will study cognitive, social and emotional factors that could impact the team’s performance.

The study’s principal investigator Kim Binsted says once the door is closed the silence and physical separation will leave the crew members feeling far from home.

The mission will begin on Oct. 15. The group will have a female commander for the first time.

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