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HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) is an analog habitat for human spaceflight to Mars.[1][2][3] HI-SEAS is located in an isolated position on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii. The area has Mars-like features and an elevation of approximately 8,200 feet (2,500 m) above sea level. The first HI-SEAS study was in 2013 and NASA's Human Research Program continues to fund and sponsor follow-up studies.[4] The missions are of extended duration from four months to a year.

The purpose of the detailed research studies is to determine what is required to keep a space flight crew happy and healthy during an extended mission to Mars and while living on Mars.[5] Research into food, crew dynamics, behaviors, roles and performance, and other aspects of space flight and a mission on Mars itself is the primary focus. The HI-SEAS researchers also carry out studies on a variety of other topics as part of their daily activities.

One thing under study by NASA is trying to understand crew dynamics such as morale, stress management, and how they solve problems as group.[6]


HI-SEAS I[edit]

The first HI-SEAS mission lasted for four months from mid-April to 13 August 2013 with culinary and psychological aspects.[1][7] Many related aspects were also explored, including temperatures in artificial habitats.[8] It was orchestrated primarily by NASA, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, and Cornell University.[9] The 2013 study included 8 people and ran for 120 days (4 months). The crew members were Angelo Vermeulen (commander, Belgium), Simon Engler (engineer, Canada), Kate Greene (writer, USA), Yajaira Sierra Sastre (scientist, USA), Oleg Abramov (geologist, USA), Sian Proctor (education outreach, USA). Members of the HI-SEAS crew went outside the habitat once a week in simulated spacesuits to explore the terrain and to perform geological and microbe-detection studies. The focus of the study was on a diet which consisted of traditional space food (such as freeze-dried items) as well as various recipes made from a special list of ingredients. Six scientists completed the study. Mission commander Angelo Vermeulen with his colleagues recommended more spices and higher fiber foods as well as comfort foods.

HI-SEAS II[edit]

HI-SEAS II with a crew of six people began 28 March 2014[10] and lasted 120 days, until 25 July 2014.[11] The crew members were Casey Stedman (commander, USA), Tiffany Swarmer (USA), Ron Williams (USA), Anne Caraccio (USA), Ross Lockwood (Canada), and Lucie Poulet (France).


HI-SEAS III began on 15 October 2014, and included six crew members and two reserve crew members: Martha Lenio (Commander), Allen Mirkadyrov, Sophie Milam, Neil Sheibelhut, Jocelyn Dunn, and Zak Wilson.[12] Backup crew included Ed Fix and Micheal Castro. The mission ended on 13 June 2015.

This was the first 8-month stay for a crew and the third overall HI-SEAS mission.[6] NASA used the study to examine and gain knowledge about crew size, isolation, and group communication and problem resolution dynamics.[6] One question is ideal crew size, and like the previous mission this one included a crew of six people, but for double the amount of time as the previous missions.[6]

The crew on HSIII performed 40 tasks a week for research studies.[6] One of the experiments was on 3D printing.[6]

HI-SEAS IV[edit]

HI-SEAS IV began on 29 August 2015 and lasted for exactly one year.[13][14][15] The crew members were Carmel Johnston (USA), Christiane Heinicke (Germany), Sheyna Gifford (USA), Andrzej Stewart (USA), Cyprien Verseux (France), and Tristan Bassingthwaighte (USA). Backup crew included Oscar Mathews and Debbi-Lee Wilkinson.

The staff of HI-SEAS IV included the following specialities: commander, physicist, biologist, doctor, engineer, architect, and journalist.[16] The crew of six spent the whole year together on this mission,[17] and one of the major tasks was simply getting along with another in isolation as well as resolving interpersonal conflict if it occurred.[16] One of the challenges the crew had to overcome during the mission was an un-planned communications failure.[16]

During the mission many aspects of a Mars mission were simulated (see Mars analog habitat), such as a communication delay time and isolation.[17] Many aspects of a Mars mission were not simulated, such as the reduced gravity of Mars.[17] They did live at a higher altitude,[16] which would have slightly boosted radiation exposure from space radiation. The crew had six hand-held cameras to record each day, and at least one crew-member had a blog on the internet.[16] The mission was also the subject of a film called Red Heaven.[16]

The mission ended on 28 August 2016, with the crew emerging to a crowd of news media and cameramen.[17] This was the longest HI-SEAS yet, with the previous mission lasting 8 months, and before that 4 months.[17]

HI-SEAS V[edit]

HI-SEAS V began on 19 January 2017 and is scheduled to run for eight months.[18] The crew consists of Ansley Barnard (USA), James Bevington (USA), Joshua Ehrlich (USA), Laura Lark (USA), Brian Ramos (USA), and Samuel Payler (UK). The six researchers, made up of engineers, a computer scientist, an astrobiologist, and a biomedical expert, will focus on team dynamics and its effect on performance.[19]

The next HI-SEAS[edit]

The project is planning an additional HI-SEAS 8-month mission in 2018.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Brian Shiro (18 April 2013). "Orientation to HI-SEAS". Astronautforhire.com. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Kim A. Binsted and J. B. Hunter (2013). "HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) as an opportunity for long duration instrument/protocol testing and verification" (PDF). University of Hawaii at Mānoa and Cornell University. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Chang, Kenneth (20 October 2014). "In a Dome in Hawaii, a Mission to Mars". NASA. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "HI-SEAS to study human performance for long-duration space exploration (2013)". Hawaii 24/7. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Mike Wall (14 August 2013). "Mars Food Scientists End 4-Month Mock Space Mission In Hawaii". Space.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Mars on Earth: Mock Space Mission Examines Trials of Daily Life". Space.com. Retrieved 2017-01-04. 
  7. ^ Mike Wall (14 August 2013). "Mars Food Scientists End 4-Month Mock Space Mission In Hawaii". Space.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "K. Green - The Challenges of Climate Control in a Mars Habitat - Discover Magazine". Blogs.discovermagazine.com. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Research participants sought for 120-day Mars analog habitat study". Manoa.hawaii.edu. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Kim Binsted and Talia Ogliore (28 March 2014). "Second HI-SEAS Mars space analog study begins". University of Hawaii Mānoa. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "HI-SEAS 2 Emerges From 120 Stay on Mars". Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Video on YouTube
  13. ^ "Nasa ends year-long Mars simulation on Hawaii". BBC News. 29 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  14. ^ "Global media document historic University of Hawaiʻi Mars simulation". University of Hawaiʻi. 28 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  15. ^ Rogers, Katie (31 August 2016). "How to Win Friends and Influence People (on Fake Mars)". New York Times. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f "NASA's HI-SEAS Crew Has Completed Their Year-Long Mars Simulation Mission". Tor.com. 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2017-01-04. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f l'espace, Cité de. "End of the HI-SEAS IV simulated Mars mission - Cité de l'Espace". Cité de l'Espace. Retrieved 2017-01-04. 
  18. ^ Jones, Caleb (22 January 2017). "Living on Mars — in Hawaii". Sidney Daily News. Associated Press. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  19. ^ "Introducing the New Crew for HI-SEAS V". HI-SEAS. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 

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