NASA has been training six scientists at its make-shift Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation mission (HI-SEAS) for eight months to see whether these future dwellers of the Red Planet can withstand the harsh atmosphere.
They have to wear a heavy 40lb space suits just to take a walk outside their cabins and the conditions have made some of them to write off their future plans to ever go to the Red Planet. Most of the time, the six inhabitants conducted their own research projects.
Besides, the had frozen their saliva and urine samples throughout the period for NASA future experiments and once they did face power problem half-way when a volcano left their solar batteries useless. They were told not only to restrict energy use for emergency usage, including their composting toilet machine.
Here are some of their reactions:
Martha Lenio, 34, Canadian renewable energy consultant said she had learnt the ukulele, improve her French and finish off a knitting project. “Of those three,” she wrote in her blog. “I think the knitting is the only one really close to being accomplished. I can play a few chords on the ukulele but not a whole song.”
Sophie Milam, a robotics researcher, said she was able to make a model boat out of sticks, and making an alternative spacesuit helmet out of tin foil.
Jocelyn Dunn, a Purdue University PhD candidate, said she was happy to re-enter the Earth’s surroundings, especially to feel wind on her skin again. “When we first walked out the door, it was scary not to have a suit on.”