Back From a Year on "Mars"

Back From a Year on "Mars"

Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 604 , Segment 6

Episode: America Needs More Immigration, Children of Divorce, Mars

  • Jul 27, 2017 11:00 pm
  • 21:01 mins

(Originally aired Oct. 3, 2016) Guest: Christiane Heinicke, PhD, Physicist who Completed a Year-Long Simulation in a Mars Habitat Fifteen years from now, NASA hopes to send the first astronauts to Mars, but there’s a lot to figure out in the meantime. Anyone who goes to Mars will need to spend a lot of time in a shelter of some sort and wear a spacesuit when outside – because of intense radiation from the sun. And it’ll be a long mission – the flight to Mars takes six months and they’ll have to spend a few years there before returning to Earth. So NASA needs to know how humans will hold up under the stressful of such isolation and being in tight quarters with the same few people for so long. So that’s how six volunteers ended up in a simulated Mars habitat funded by NASA on the rocky surface of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. For an entire year they lived in a 1,200 square foot geodesic dome completely off the grid, powered by solar panels. Food and water were delivered every few months. And the few times they ventured outdoors, they had to wear big space suits. They’ve just completed their year-long mission.