What have you done with your life in the past year? If you’re anything like the six people who just emerged from a white geodesic dome tent on the side of a Hawaiian volcano this week, you just got humankind closer to colonizing Mars. On August 29, 2015 the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS project put half a dozen volunteers into conditions they’d expect to face once reaching the red planet. This included living in close quarters with almost zero privacy, only exiting the dome while wearing a space suit, and having to wait 20 minutes for messages to get to and from “Earth.” Needless to say ordering a pizza was out of the cards. And that’s exactly why it was on the menu for the brave men and women as soon as they completed the mission.
Other must-haves included bananas and watermelon, which weren’t available in the isolated conditions. The crew included a variety of scientific types: a NASA physician, a hydrologist, an engineer/pilot graduate from MIT, a German physicist, a French astrobiologist and an architecture student from Shanghai. Each one kept a blog about the experience, if you want to see each of their unique perspectives. Another HI-SEAS mission is currently being planned and you can apply for it if you really want to live without pizza for a year. Actually, that sounds like a pretty effective way of sticking to my diet. Sign me up!