MarsNews.com

Moving To Mars

For years, NASA has run experiments replicating the environments of space and alien planets. Rovers and robotics have been tested in the Arizona desert and in the Canadian Arctic. “Human factor” studies in preparation for space-station duties have been carried out in a capsule at the Johnson Space Center and in an underwater lab off Key Largo. These days, the International Space Station provides an analogue for future long-duration missions; the astronaut Scott Kelly, who has just begun the first full year for an American in orbit, is the subject of psychological as well as physical tests. The Hawaii project represents another step for NASA: a test of group dynamics and morale to help design systems that will send a team into deep space.