Six people will spend the next year living in a dome in Hawaii in the name of science.
The crew is part of the University of Hawaii's fourth Hawaii space exploration analog and simulation (HI-SEAS) mission, which simulates Mars missions.
The six members entered the dome on Friday. They will spend the next 365 days pretending to be on Mars.
They'll be living in a two-storey dome where cameras, body movement trackers and other devices will monitor them, according to a University of Hawaii statement. Researchers will study their "cohesion over time, gathering data on a wide range of cognitive, social and emotional factors that may impact team performance."
The researchers are working to figure out how to compose and support a good team for a round-trip to Mars. The journey is estimated to last three years.
The crew is made up of:
- Carmel Johnston, a soil scientist.
- Christiane Heinicke, a physicist and engineer.
- Sheyna Gifford, a medical writer.
- Andrzej Stewart, a light aircraft pilot.
- Cyprien Verseux, an astrobiologist and doctorate student.
- Tristan Bassingthwaighte, doctor of architecture candidate.
Gifford tweeted "a last view of Earth" before she and the rest of the crew entered the dome.
In the dome, the crew will share a kitchen, a dining space, an exercise area, an office and a lab on the first floor. The only full bathroom, with a shower, is on the first floor.
The second floor is a loft space with six bedrooms, each with a bed, desk and chair. There is a powder room on the second floor. There is also a workshop attached to the dome.
So far, the crew seems in good spirits.
They enjoyed their "first dinner in simulated space."
On the menu? Cheese and turkey quesadillas, and peas and corn.
The food was previously dehydrated, tweeted Gifford.
First dinner in simulated space: the cheese & turkey quesadilla & all the veggies were all dehydrated 30 min ago. pic.twitter.com/LX91nUT29v— @humansareawesme
They watched their "first Martian sunset."
And, survived until morning.
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood! Mission day 1 looking out at Mauna Kea (Olympus Mons) pic.twitter.com/gDo63CFr0e— @_CarmelJohnston
Only 364 more days to go.