Experience of isolation from the Nasa: the doors to the dome will close for a year

situe-cote-nord-ile-maunaSix volunteers will be completely isolated for a year, the longest experience of putting it away ever conducted by the United States, to collect valuable information that will be useful to the hour to send astronauts to Mars.

The inside of the dome where the six people will live for a year, which they won with a combination of a cosmonaut.

This crew, locked in a dome in Hawaii, includes a astrobiologiste French, a German physicist and four Americans : a pilot, an architect, a doctor/journalist and a scientist specializing in soil.

Their living space for the coming 12 months, located on the north coast of the island, Mauna Loa, is a dome of 11 metres in diameter and six meters in height. They have closed the doors on Friday at 15 h local (21h, eastern time)

Brian Shiro, responsible for the support in the mission,… – image 2.0
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Brian Shiro, responsible for the support in the mission, and the six members of the mission : Sophie Milam, Joceyln Dunn, Zak Wilson, Allen Mirkadyrov, the commander of the mission Martha Lenio and Neil Scheibelhut.

These three men and three women would each have a small room, with space for a camp bed and a desk. During their stay, cut off from the world, that they may eat of freeze-dried foods and will not escape the dome that wearing a space suit, as if they were actually on Mars. They only have a limited access to the internet.

Sheyna Gifford, one of the members, described the crew as ” six people who want to change the world “. The architect Tristan Bassingthwaighte adds that he wants to try to ” improve our ability to live in extreme environments, on Earth and in other worlds “, according to his LinkedIn profile. “I hope to learn a lot of things.”

An outpost on Mars

The French Cyprien Verseux, 25 years old, is preparing a phd at the university of Rome. His field of expertise, will push to explore ways to make an outpost on Mars as independent as possible of the Earth, using living organisms to transform the raw materials found on Mars in products that can be consumed by men.

The astronauts who will want to try to go to Mars will have to spend a lot more time in space than the usual missions of six months in the international space Station (ISS). Today’s technology allows Nasa to send robotic missions to Mars in eight months, but a mission with men would last a total of between one and three years.

To live such a long period of time in a confined space, without access to the open air or in a minimum of intimacy is the best way to trigger conflicts.

The u.s. space Agency wants to try to learn a maximum of things on the cohesion and the psychological development of the members of such missions isolated before attempting to send astronauts to the red Planet, what it hopes to do in the years 2030.

Two missions of four and eight months have already been carried out. Nasa has spent $ 1.2 million on these simulations, and it has just received a funding of an additional one million to three new experiences in the years to come, according to the main scientific program, Kim Binsted.

“It is really a bit expensive for space research,” she explained to AFP by telephone from Hawaii. “It is paltry compared to the cost of a space mission that goes wrong “.

During the mission’s eight-month conflict erupted but the members of the crew have been able to solve their problems.

“One of the lessons that we have learned is that you can’t avoid some personal conflicts. This will necessarily happen during these long-term missions, even with the people most gentiles “, was returned to Kim Binsted.

The first scientific results of these missions should be made public within a year.

Jocelyn Dunn, who was part of the mission of the isolation of eight months, explained his side that she appreciated the internal jokes between the members of the crew, or group sessions of sport every day. She also learned to cook dishes, such as bagels and pizza, with ingredients she had on hand.

At the end of the mission at the beginning of June, she described her joy to be back ” on Earth “, to be able to eat fresh vegetables, use a knife to cut his meat, swim, drink soda or champagne : “I couldn’t believe how the flavors and the texture of a steak rare I missed “.

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