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  Science   22 Jan 2017  Nasa drill to test possibility for Mars stay

Nasa drill to test possibility for Mars stay

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Published : Jan 22, 2017, 4:47 am IST
Updated : Jan 22, 2017, 7:13 am IST

Nasa hopes to send humans to an asteroid in the 2020s and Mars by the 2030s.

Six carefully selected scientists have entered a man-made dome on a remote Hawaii volcano as part of a human-behaviour study. (Photo: University of Hawaii via AP)
 Six carefully selected scientists have entered a man-made dome on a remote Hawaii volcano as part of a human-behaviour study. (Photo: University of Hawaii via AP)

Washington: Six carefully selected scientists have entered a man-made dome on a remote Hawaii volcano as part of a human-behaviour study.

The four men and two women moved into their simulated space home on Thursday on Mauna Loa, settling into the vinyl-covered shelter of 366 square metres, about the size of a small, two-bedroom home, for an eight-month stay. They will have no physical contact with people in the outside world and will work with a 20-minute delay in communications with their support crew, or the time it would take for an email to reach Earth from Mars.

The Nasa-funded project will study the psychological difficulties associated with living in isolated and confined conditions for an extended period. The project could help Nasa as it draws up plans for sending astronauts on long missions to Mars. “We’re hoping to figure out how best to select individual astronauts, how to compose a crew and how to support that crew on long-duration space missions,” said principal investigator Kim Binsted, a University of Hawaii science professor.

Nasa hopes to send humans to an asteroid in the 2020s and Mars by the 2030s. The team members on the dome project include engineers, a computer scientist, a doctoral candidate and a biomedical expert. They were selected from 700 applicants who were subjected to personality tests, background checks and extensive interviews.

Tags: scientists, nasa, mars
Location: United States, Washington