Six scientists returned to civilization Sunday after they exited from their Mars simulation habitat in Hawaii where they lived in for 365 days in near isolation.
The NASA-funded experiment, run by the University of Hawaii, required the scientists to live in a small dome set in a Mars-like environment on Mauna Loa mountain at about 8,200 feet above sea level. NASA plans to send humans to Mars by 2030, and in an effort to determine the resources, conditions and crew cohesion and performance, the six scientists had been living there since Aug. 29, 2015 — the longest test of its kind since a Russian mission that lasted 520 days.
“The UH research going on up here is just super vital when it comes to picking crews, figuring out how people are going to actually work on different kinds of missions, and sort of the human factors element of space travel, colonization, whatever it is you are actually looking at,” Tristan Bassingthwaighte, a doctor of architecture candidate at the University of Hawaii who served as the crew’s architect, said in a statement.
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