August 1st, 2013

Countdown: Mars food mission researchers return to Earth University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Six researchers who have spent more than 100 days inside a remote habitat to simulate a long-duration space journey are finally returning to Earth.
About 700 applicants vied for six spots in the HI-SEAS mission, which began in April and will conclude on August 13. These Earth-based researchers have been living and working like astronauts, including suiting up in space gear whenever they venture outside a simulated Martian base and cooking meals from a specific list of dehydrated and shelf-stable food items.
The HI-SEAS study, led by Cornell University and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, is analyzing new types of food and novel food preparation strategies to keep astronauts well-nourished for space exploration. The work is funded by the NASA Human Research Program

September 25th, 2012

NASA’s Martian weather reports show extreme pressure swings University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Curiosity, the NASA rover that landed on Mars last month, is sending us remarkable weather observations from the Martian surface that are attracting interest from scientists. “From a weather point of view, Mars is the most ‘Earth-like’ of the other planets in our solar system, and many features of the weather there are similar to Earth,” says Kevin Hamilton, a pioneer in the area of computer modeling of the Martian atmosphere.
Hamilton, who is Director of UH Manoa’s International Pacific Research Center and a Professor of Meteorology, noted that Curiosity is the fifth ‘Weather Station’ on Mars. Over the last 35 years, a total of four NASA probes had reached the Martian surface and returned weather data.
“These earlier observations had shown a large daily cycle in temperature and air pressure on Mars. The atmospheric temperature near the surface of Mars generally varies by more than 100°F between day and night because of the overall thinner Martian atmosphere and lack of oceans and their moderating influence,” says Hamilton