A crew of six enter a geodesic dome to find out what it's like to live on Mars

An international crew of six will enter a geodesic dome atop Hawaii’s Mauna Loa on Thursday to begin an eight-month experiment on isolation and confinement. The Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission V is the fifth such NASA-funded research experiment.

HI-SEAS is intended to help reveal the requirements for individuals and teams during long-term space exploration, such as missions to Mars. As such, crew members are expected to abandon many of their usual creature comforts. During the duration of the experiment they will breathe recycled air, eat space food, and — if they want to leave their 13,570-cubic-foot dome — they’ll have to don a spacesuit.

The eight-month mission will demand interpersonal problem solving and team building, as the crew will live in close quarters with limited privacy, conducting various research studies. A mission control and research team will keep an eye on the crew during the experiment, including monitoring face-to-face interaction between using sociometric badges worn by crew members.

But the mission is about more than just studying human interactions. The crew will perform experiments on life systems management and geological fieldwork atop Mauna Loa to simulated the exploration tasks of astronauts on Mars.

“Since 2012, HI-SEAS has been contributing to NASA’s plans for long-duration space exploration,” Kim Binstead, HI-SEAS principal investigator, said in a statement. “We are an international collaboration of crew, researchers and mission support, and I’m proud of the part we play in helping reduce the barriers to a human journey to Mars.”

The latest HI-SEAS experiment ended in August when a crew of six exited the geodesic dome after a year, which was the second-longest isolation experiment of its kind. A 2010 Russian experiment lasted 520 days.

Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Gaming

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Emerging Tech

This unusual nature-inspired robot is equally at home on land or in the water

This intriguing, nature-inspired robot may look unusual, but it's impressively capable of moving on both land and water without problem. Heck, it can even travel on ice if necessary.
Emerging Tech

This cryptocurrency wallet for kids isn’t nearly as stupid as it sounds

So you’ve taught your 6-year-old child to read, write, and play nice with others. What’s next? Give them a base understanding of cryptocurrency, of course. This Kickstarter aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight takes it to the edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has successfully carried out its fourth powered flight in Mojave, California. It was the company's most ambitious test flight yet -- and bodes well for the future.
Emerging Tech

There’s a giant EMP blaster in New Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s here to protect us

An electromagnetic pulse has the potential to disable virtually all electronics within a large area. To help protect against such a threat is a new, friendly EMP emitter. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?