Nasa Mars isolation experiment starting in Hawaii
Six people going into small isolation dome for a year to help Nasa prepare for Mars mission
NASA handout photo shows the exterior of the HI-SEAS habitat on the northern slope of Mauna Loa in Hawaii
Photo: Getty Images
Six people are about to shut themselves inside a dome in Hawaii for a year, in the longest US isolation experiment yet aimed at helping NASA prepare for a pioneering journey to Mars.
The crew includes a French astrobiologist, a German physicist and four Americans - a pilot, an architect, a doctor/journalist and a soil scientist.
They are based on a barren, northern slope of Mauna Loa, living inside a dome that is 36 feet in diameter and 20 feet tall.
In a place with no animals and little vegetation around, they will close themselves in at 3:00 pm Hawaii time on Friday (0100 GMT Saturday), marking the official start to the 12-month mission.
The men and women have their own small rooms, with space for a sleeping cot and desk, and will spend their days eating foods like powdered cheese and canned tuna, only going outside if dressed in a spacesuit, and having limited access to the Internet.
So what kind of person wants to spend a year of their life this way?
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