Canadian biologist Kelly Haston is embarking on an extraordinary journey to simulate living on Mars for a year. Alongside three other volunteers, she will enter a Martian habitat in Houston at the end of June, where they will experience the challenges and conditions they might encounter on the Red Planet.
The simulation, carefully organized by NASA, aims to study the behavior of a crew in an isolated and confined environment, providing valuable insights for future long-duration missions. During their stay, participants will face equipment failures, limited water supply, and the effects of communication delays between Earth and Mars, which can reach up to 40 minutes.
Excited about the opportunity, Haston acknowledges the realistic challenges that lie ahead. The Mars Dune Alpha habitat, a 3D printed facility spanning 1,700 square feet, offers living quarters, recreational areas, and even a vertical farm for sustenance. Additionally, the crew will have the chance to simulate spacewalks within a specially designed outdoor area, resembling the Martian landscape.
Haston, a registered member of the Mohawk Nation, is eager to undertake this unique experience that combines her passion for science with her ancestral heritage. As she and her fellow volunteers step into this simulated Martian habitat, they will navigate the complexities and limitations of life on Mars, contributing to our understanding of human survival and adaptability in space exploration.