One year ago, six volunteers—an astrobiologist, a physicist, a pilot, an architect, a journalist, and a soil scientist — entered a 36-by-20 foot dome, located near a barren volcano in Hawaii, to simulate what living conditions would be like on Mars. Today they re-emerged from their year-long isolation.
Members of the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) "returned to Earth" yesterday afternoon, following a 4-month, simulated mission to space.
A human mission to Mars will last more than 8 months, each way. Ship quarters will be sardine-esque. Communications will be laggy and intermittent. And, despite the thrilling nature of the larger mission, astronauts en route to the Red Planet will likely struggle with psyche-crushing boredom. So how might an astronaut…