A team of researchers has been living in a simulated Mars habitat on a Hawaiian volcano for the past four months, practicing what it would be like to live on Mars. They're "returning to earth" today.
The Hawaii Space Exploration Analog & Simulation, or HI-SEAS, is a long duration Mars exploration analog study run by the University of Hawaii.
Snip from a Reuters profile:
For the most part, expedition leader Casey Stedman and his five crewmates have stayed inside their 1,000-square foot (93-square meter) solar-powered dome, venturing out only for simulated spacewalks and doing so only when fully attired in mock spacesuits.
"I haven't seen a tree, smelled the rain, heard a bird, or felt wind on my skin in four months," Stedman wrote in a blog on Instagram. Stedman is a U.S. Air Force Reserve officer, graduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide. "We are simulating a long-duration mission on Mars, with a focus on crew psychology in isolation," the crew said during an online interview with Reddit on Sunday.
You can read that Reddit AMA here.
[All photos by Ross Lockwood]