Free Press Journal

NASA recruits commence isolation exercise for Mars trip



Washington: A team of NASA recruits has begun living in a dome near a barren volcano in Hawaii to simulate what life would be like on Mars, a media report said. The six member team will live in close quarters under the dome – which measures only 11 metres in diameter and is 6 metres tall – without fresh air, fresh food or privacy starting on Saturday, BBC reported.  A journey outside the dome will require a spacesuit.

A French astrobiologist, a German physicist and four Americans — a pilot, an architect, a journalist and a soil scientist — make up the NASA team. The men and women will each have a small sleeping cot and a desk inside their rooms. Provisions include powdered cheese and canned tuna.

The isolation experience, which will last a year will be the longest of its type attempted. The space agency has recently conducted four-month and eight-month-long isolation experiments. While others focus on the technical and scientific challenges of the journey, the isolation experiments address the human element of exploration and problems that arise living in tight quarters.