Researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are seeking crewmembers for a new series of space exploration analog studies.
These types of studies are essential for NASA to understand how teams of astronauts will perform on long-duration space exploration missions, such as those that will be required for human travel to Mars. The studies will also allow researchers to recommend strategies for crew composition for such missions, and to determine how best to support such crews while they are working in space.
The upcoming missions will be conducted at the Hawaiʻi Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) site, an isolated Mars-like environment on the slopes of Mauna Loa at approximately 8,200 feet above sea level. Crewmember participants will live in the same modern geodesic dome habitat that successfully supported a NASA-funded Mars food study that garnered national media attention in 2013.
New study aims
- Test a hypothesis that group cohesion over the short term predicts team performance over the long term.
- Observe how technical, social and task roles evolve over long-duration missions.
- Establish baselines for a wide range of human cognitive, social and emotional factors over missions of varying durations.
Like the astronaut mission specialists they will represent, each participant will be expected to bring a significant research project or other scholarly work of his or her own to complete while inside the space analog habitat—for instance, biological or geological field research, engineering design and technology evaluation, scholarly writing, or artistic endeavors compatible with the limitations of small living quarters in an isolated location with limited internet bandwidth.
Subjects will be compensated for their participation and for associated travel and housing costs. Successful applicants will be placed into a pool from which researchers will assemble three well-balanced teams for the various study periods.
Key Dates (dates are subject to change)
- Mission A—February 2014–June 2014 (4 months)
- Mission B—August 2014–April 2015 (8 months)
- Mission C—June 2015–May 2016 (12 months)
The deadline for applications is November 1, 2013. For a list of requirements and how to apply please go to the HI-SEAS news release.