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Intersection: Practicing For Mars Mission On The Big Island Of Hawaii


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A HI-SEAS subject takes part in a simulated EVA. Photo: NASA / Christiane Heinicke

What does it take to live on Mars? A recent experiment called HI-SEAS sent six test subjects to a simulated Martian base on Hawaii and kept them there for eight months.

Before we send humans to Mars, it’s probably a smart idea to do a few test runs first, right? HI-SEAS is simulated Mars base camp on the Big Island of Hawaii. The habitat is about 1,200 square feet and has a small sleeping quarters for a crew of six, as well as a kitchen, laboratory, simulated airlock and of course a bathroom.

The location also has a geology similar to Mars, so a crew can perform similar tasks as if they were on Mars. They have to suit up in an air lock and use space suits to step outside. Each mission in HI-SEAS looks to test the human factors of a Mars mission. The last mission, HI-SEAS V, was an eight month stay for six test subjects.

One of those test subjects was Brian Ramos. He’s a Portuguese-American pursuing a life of exploration.

This conversation previously aired on our podcast “Are We There Yet?”


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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »

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