A group of researchers have just begun their eight-month-mission on Mars.
Well, kind of.
On last Thursday, six crew members entered the geodesic dome that will be their home on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano for the next eight months as they live out a simulated mission on the red planet.
This marks the start of a mission funded by NASA to help the space agency figure out how people might behave during a real long-duration trip to the red planet.
“During the eight-month HI-SEAS Mission V the crew will perform exploration tasks such as geological fieldwork and life systems management,” the University of Hawaii said in a statement.
The HI-SEAS missions are designed, at least in part, to help NASA figure out exactly how people will behave under conditions similar to those astronauts may face on Mars.
NASA wants to send people to Mars sometime in the coming decades, and in order to do so, the agency will need to do more than develop technologies for life support and transportation.