An experiment aimed at exploring the human elements for future missions to Mars, came to a successful end on Monday, as N.A.S.A.’s six crew members survived a year in isolation, living without fresh air and fresh food in Hawaii. Buoyed by the success of the study, one of the researchers said that the technological and psychological obstacles could be overcome to make a mission to the Red Planet a reality in close future.
The experiment, carried out by the University of Hawaii, is the second-longest of its kind after a Russian mission that spanned over 520 days, writes the BBC. The team of researchers, which comprised an astro-biologist, a physicist, a pilot, an architect, a soil scientist and a journalist, lived in closed quarters in a dome, with limited resources to study the effects of isolation and confined conditions during a future space travel mission.
Stressful, emergency situations were purposefully triggered during the research to check the group’s response, reports Quartz. Glitches including sudden power blackouts and malfunctioning research tools were developed to see how the researchers would solve problems, which could arise naturally during space missions.