For the crew members of the Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) mission, returning to Earth after four months on simulated Mars was as simple as opening a faux airlock door.
“This crew has proven to be a strong team throughout the duration of the study,” said Kim Binsted, associate professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and principal investigator for the HI-SEAS research effort. “By monitoring their inter-personal interactions, especially during times of stress, we’re learning more about the social and emotional factors that determine astronaut crew cohesion. This is a big gap for NASA right now.”
Under the HI-SEAS study, Binsted and her collaborators have used video cameras, electronic surveys, crew reports and other sources to keep a watchful eye on the crew inside the habitat.