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Report Details How NASA prepares astronauts for future Mars missions



Two separate attempts are being made to see how people handle the psychological challenges that a mission to Mars may make.

For the average person, nothing else can be done than space agencies have to launch a manned Mars mission. done in the past when sending people to outer space. But there are so many additional things to consider when sending people to Mars, some of which were focused on a recently published report from CBC News .

Although it is true that many of the above considerations are related to the technical aspects of Mars travel, CBC News emphasized the report that, in particular, NASA takes into account the psychological aspects of a mission to the red planet . To this end, the Space Agency and the University of Hawaii support a project where participants are sent to a simulated version of Mars located in a remote area near Mauna Loa.

Sun and surf are two things that most directly associate with Hawaii, but in NASA / University of Hawaii "biologically", participants are exposed to difficult situations designed to mimic the challenges people can face in a Mars mission . CBC News noted that volunteers are isolated in the area for eight months without any visitor living in a 36 meter wide habitat. Should they go out of the dome to do some prospecting, participants must wear fake versions of space colors worn by NASA astronauts, all in realism's name.

Isolation and tight living conditions are not the only challenges volunteers go through in domed habitats. Time delays in communication are also considered, similar to what might happen when astronauts on Mars send and receive messages to and from the ground. Such messages can take up to 24 minutes each way to reach the destination recipient, which can lead to some "frustrating" conversations. In addition, the participants must grow their own food, make their own repairs and carry out their own science experiments, with deliveries that only come "sometimes".

Considering CBC News volunteer Brian Ramos briefly summarized his experience of the Mars simulation and the challenges he and his colleagues met.

"It's all an exercise in patience and humility."

Similar to the domed habitat and ersatz Martian terrain near Mauna Loa, the Johnson Space Center in Houston is doing its own experiment to help NASA understand the psychological impact of a trip to Mars May has on people . Participants are invited to stay in an even less mock space ship for 45 days, without windows and no alternative to go out for some fresh air. This experiment, CBC News wrote, is designed to measure how monotonous activities in a crowded spacecraft heading to Mars can affect astronauts on such a long journey.

"We also know that not everyone can tolerate [monotony] at the same level," says Tom Williams, a behavioral research scientist at NASA.

"It is very important for us to understand what characteristics enable someone to succeed."

While two experiments offer an interesting glimpse of how NASA is getting ready for Mars missions that can take place In the future, it may be several years before the first mission is complete. Under the guidance of former administrator Charles Bolden, NASA determined a 2030's meal rate for its plans to send people to Mars, but in recent months, according to a Trump Administration, the Space Agency has shifted the focus of launching another moon mission in the immediate vicinity years.


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