Apparently a 365 day long simulation of humans living on a Martian landscape has reached its climax in the State of Hawaii.
A year of living in conditions of extreme isolation has ended for a group of individuals. The function of this exercise in exasperation was a make-belief mission to Mars.
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The half a dozen members of this limit-testing mission emerged from their secluded quarters which consisted of a 1200 square feet solar-powered dome on Sunday.
The crew consisted of three men and three women. The cragged slopes of Mauna Loa served as their home for approximately 365 days. Hawaii was the provenance of this experiment.
NASA funded this program which was given the epithet HI-SEAS. It took place with a little cooperation from the University of Hawaii. As the crew members emerged from their dank dungeon-like living quarters, one of them spoke of how he was expecting to see some sunlight for a change.
"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, who served as the crew's architect, said in a statement, according to CNN.
"We're proud to be helping NASA reduce or remove the barriers to long-duration space exploration," said University of Hawaii professor Kim Binsted, the project's principle investigator.
Among the crew members were: a physicist, an aerospace engineer, a soil scientist, an architect, a physician and an astrobiologist. One of them said in an interview given upon emerging from the unnatural settings that it was super-exciting.
It was the first time this individual has been out in the Great Outdoors without a spacesuit. Everything about the experience was in striking contrast to the way the crew had lived for the past year or so.
The crew commander never liked the experience of exercising indoors. It was unnatural. He spoke about how running outside was such a feel-good exercise in thriving on pure physicality.
When you get on a treadmill in damp circumstances, it just wasn’t like the real thing. Free open space was a vital ingredient in joy and pleasure. Without the conditions of sunlight and fresh oxygen, you get the sickness of cabin fever.
These mock astronauts left their habitat for limited amounts of time in spacesuits. The oxygen available during these brief forays was not much to rely on.
Some of the crew members took as much as six hour long peregrinations in order to seek some relief from the boredom, ennui and tedium of their situation.
They had very little contact with the outside world and even e-mail facility was pretty much non-existent. Food supplies and other amenities of life were few and far between.
They mostly relied on each other for the human contact they craved. It was a blessing for them to be scientists. That is because people from this profession are very patient and remain cheerful even in the most trying conditions.