HONOLULU (AP) — Researchers are entering an isolated geodesic dome perched on a remote Hawaii volcano to study human behavior for future long-term space exploration, including future trips to Mars.
The six crew members will enter the structure on the Big Island's Mauna Loa Thursday.
They will spend eight months together in the research facility with no physical contact with any other human beings.
They'll wear space suits when outside the compound on a mountainside plain with rocky Mars-like terrain and experience a 20-minute delay in communications to simulate the time it takes for voice calls to reach Earth from Mars
The NASA-funded study hopes to provide information on how crews on extended space missions will perform in isolated and confined conditions.
The so-called HI-SEAS facility is about 8,200 feet above sea level.