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Will Living On Mars Drive Us Crazy?

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the can't-you-hear-them?-didn't-you-see-the-crowd? dept.

Mars 150

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "When astronauts first began flying in space, NASA worried about 'space madness,' a mental malady they thought might arise from humans experiencing microgravity and claustrophobic isolation inside of a cramped spacecraft high above the Earth. Now Megan Garber writes in The Atlantic that NASA is hoping to find out what life on Mars does to the human emotional state by putting three men and three women in a 1,000-square-foot habitat shaped like a dome for four months. The volunteers in the second HI-SEAS mission — a purposely tiny group selected out of a group of 700 applicants — include, among others, a neuropsychologist, an aerospace engineer, and an Air Force veteran who is studying human factors in aviation. 'We're going to stress them,' says Kim Binsted, the project's principal investigator. 'That's the nature of the study.' That test involves isolating the crew in the same way they'd be isolated on Mars. The only communication they'll be allowed with the outside world—that is to say, with their family and friends—will be conducted through email. (And that will be given an artificial delay of 20 minutes to simulate the lag involved in Mars-to-Earth communications.)

If that doesn't seem too stressful, here's another source of stress: Each mission member will get only eight minutes of shower time ... per week. The stress will be compounded by the fact that the only time the crew will be able to leave their habitat-yurt is when they're wearing puffy, insulated uniforms that simulate space suits. In the Hawaiian heat. Throughout the mission, researchers will be testing the subjects' moods and the changes they exhibit in their relationships with each other. They'll also be examining the crew members' cognitive skills, seeing whether—and how—they change as the experiment wears on. Binsted says the mission has gotten the attention of the TV world but don't expect to see much inside-the-dome footage. 'You wouldn't believe the number of producers who called us,' says Binsted. 'Fortunately, we're not ethically allowed to subject our crew to that kind of thing.'"

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No (3, Funny)

korbulon (2792438) | about 5 months ago | (#46659699)

But it will turn us into thrrrrice-breasted mutants.

Get yoo ass to Mahs.

Re:No (2)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 5 months ago | (#46660555)

But it will turn us into thrrrrice-breasted mutants.

So... we're gonna need a bigger motorboat?

Dude, what happened to your face?
Nipple based dermabrasion!

Re:No (1)

phishen (1044934) | about 5 months ago | (#46660683)

They won't last two weeks.

Two Weeks

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46660737)

That's the Nature's way to relieve the crazy. And the fact that the experiment produces at least three additions to the families of the participants. Which is why the TV producers want a piece of the action. Isolation porn, with the actual human body odor.

Why not? Living on Earth does (2, Insightful)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 5 months ago | (#46659711)

I don't see how that would be different from living here.

Re:Why not? Living on Earth does (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46659745)

I don't see how that would be different from living here.

On Earth, you coworkers don't shower by choice. In there, they don't shower by law.

Re:Why not? Living on Earth does (-1)

bumba2014 (3564161) | about 5 months ago | (#46659797)

slashdot is stupid, I can't upvote because you're an AC....

Re:Why not? Living on Earth does (0)

zerosomething (1353609) | about 5 months ago | (#46659817)

slashdot is stupid, I can't upvote because you're an AC....

umm... yes you can. I got mod points I'm not wasting you either of you. Sorry.

Re:Why not? Living on Earth does (3, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#46659905)

And secondly, up-modding an AC is merely against the code.

And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules.

Re:Why not? Living on Earth does (1)

eyepeepackets (33477) | about 5 months ago | (#46660365)

I rarely waste a mod point on an AC post. Just sayin'.

Re:Why not? Living on Earth does (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46659873)

Do you need more than 8 min/week of shower for cleanliness? I'd guess 10 second is enough to spray water on the whole body, and 20 seconds suffice to remove soap. The suggested length doesn't sound too harsh.

Re:Why not? Living on Earth does (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 months ago | (#46660091)

Speaking for myself showering isn't as much as cleanliness but as a form of relaxing. Getting clean is a positive side effect.

So 8 Minutes a week would add stress to my life, just because I would need to sacrifice one of my activities that makes me feel better.

Re:Why not? Living on Earth does (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 5 months ago | (#46660287)

Depends what your lifestyle and climate are like. If you're a hunter-gatherer living next to a waterfall in Hawaii, you might take a rinse every few days just for fun, but you would seldom "need" a shower. If you're living in a "tuna can" with three other people, taking daily outdoor excursions wearing a "moon suit" in Hawaii, things are going to start getting ripe pretty rapidly.

I imagine they will combat this tendency with daily sponge baths, etc.. One has to wonder how effective this would be. OTOH, they've been dealing with a similar situation on ISS for quite a while already.

Re:Why not? Living on Earth does (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 5 months ago | (#46660333)

I don't see how that would be different from living here.

Yeah, well living here can make you pretty damn crazy too.

prescribe them Marijuana (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#46660495)

nature has provided us with a cheap, non-addictive treatment for this kind of thing...

it's called Marijuana

let's work it into the mission plan....

for fans of sci-fi, you'll remember the Mars colonists in K.S. Robinson's Mars Trilogy drank a Kava/hash drink that had the same effect

In the heat... (5, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 5 months ago | (#46659713)

Wouldn't mars be frostbitingly COLD though?

Re:In the heat... (0, Flamebait)

Stumbles (602007) | about 5 months ago | (#46659739)

Not after man gets there as man IS the cause of climate change. So in a short while after their arrival it will turn into hell. So says the pseudo-scientists of global warming, erm I mean climate change, erm I mean whatever new term they come up with to add to the confusion.

Re:In the heat... (1, Funny)

amiga3D (567632) | about 5 months ago | (#46659769)

Why do you have to drag that shit up? I'm so sick of the climate change flame wars and there you go starting it up in a story that has nothing to do with it. STFU!

Re:In the heat... (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#46660047)

Right...

It's not as if we're lacking a daily opportunity here to comment on the genuine article.

Re:In the heat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46659845)

man IS a cause of climate change

Fixed that for you.

So in a short while after their arrival it will turn into hell.

No.

the pseudo-scientists of global warming

You keep saying those words. I don't think they mean what you think they mean.

Re:In the heat... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46659951)

Wouldn't mars be frostbitingly COLD though?

Depends. Mar's nominal temperature ranges from 'cold' to 'really cold, some of the ice is frozen carbon dioxide, some of it might be water'; but it also has a pretty tenuous(maximum is something like 1% of earth's, lower as you go higher) atmosphere, so heat transfer by direct conduction and convection would be weaker than you'd expect for earth(though greater than in orbit, where those basically aren't factors at all, and where you don't have the option of using the ground as a heatsink).

It wouldn't be as bad as orbit(where the nominal temperature is also damn low; but where being cooked alive because you've got nothing but black-body radiation to shed heat from your metabolic processes and suit hardware is the bigger potential danger); but the nominally freezing atmosphere would still cool you much less well than experience on earth would lead you to expect. I don't know exactly what sort of in-suit climate control the people who actually know this stuff properly estimate you'd need, and how much of the time it would be warming you, and how much active-cooling you.

Barring nontrivial advances, though, it would probably still be more suit than you really want to wear in a gravity well(even a fairly weak one), and the need to be gas-tight would presumably make it even more obnoxious than just the weight.

Re:In the heat... (1)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#46660331)

I work with a group that does high altitude experimental unmanned balloon launches to 100k feet (about 30 km). The air pressure up there is 1% of Earth's. You do have to worry about heat dissipation up there for precisely the above reason.

Another reason not to count on atmosphere convection to cool you is because Mars's atmosphere varies a lot in pressure dependent on season and elevation. You only get 1% pressure at the lowest and warmest locations (in other words, the best conditions) on Mars.

Re:In the heat... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 months ago | (#46660443)

It wouldn't be as bad as orbit(where the nominal temperature is also damn low; but where being cooked alive because you've got nothing but black-body radiation to shed heat from your metabolic processes

Actually, being on Mar's surface is worse than being on orbit. On orbit, you can use evaporation to carry away heat (radiation is a minor component). On the surface, the atmosphere is *just* thick enough to screw up evaporation cooling but not thick enough to enable pure convective/conductive cooling.

The irony of ethics. (2, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | about 5 months ago | (#46659715)

'You wouldn't believe the number of producers who called us,' says Binsted. 'Fortunately, we're not ethically allowed to subject our crew to that kind of thing.'"

Might want to pull back the macroscopic lens there chief before you drown in the irony of the fact that you're conducting this very experiment in order for us to send people on a one-way trip to Mars.

I think we've already established the fact that ethics in this discussion is questionable at best, and should be of little concern. How about you ask those you're torturing if they'd like to have a million-dollar payday in a few months from said producers. You might just be surprised that the answers are not as ethical as you thought.

Re:The irony of ethics. (3, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | about 5 months ago | (#46659785)

Personally I think it'd make a really interesting reality show. In fact, they could fund the Mars trip like that. Sell the entire thing to the Discovery Channel. Survivor with real consequences.

Re:The irony of ethics. (5, Funny)

qwijibo (101731) | about 5 months ago | (#46659853)

Great, so there would be people who left earth forever only to get voted off of mars.

Re:The irony of ethics. (2)

kcitren (72383) | about 5 months ago | (#46659987)

You mean like Mars One is planning? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]

Re:The irony of ethics. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46660245)

It would be ethical if the people sent there were the producers.

Re:The irony of ethics. (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 5 months ago | (#46660385)

So when you get voted off the island, they airlock you? Hmmm...

Re:The irony of ethics. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 months ago | (#46660499)

ersonally I think it'd make a really interesting reality show. In fact, they could fund the Mars trip like that.

A global hit on the scale of Dr Who would only barely pay the interest and a bit of the principal. You'd need global income on the scale of the Olympics to take a serious bite out of the principal - and you'd need that income for the better part of a decade. Not happening.

Re:The irony of ethics. (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 5 months ago | (#46659963)

Ethics, shmethics this is about getting a large government grant on a tropical island and they don't want the world to know when the scientists sneak off to the tiki bar. /halfjoke

Re:The irony of ethics. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46659989)

The problem with 'producers'/'TV'/'Reality show' is that they have an intense interest in getting the most emotionally-salient material possible, then publicising it as widely as possible.

Actual one way trip to Mars? Given how many people, even one with pretty good options by Earth standards, would line up to volunteer, I'm not sure the ethical problems would keep me awake at night. Everybody dies, a great many of them less pleasantly than even likely Martian failure scenarios, and often after lives rather more miserable besides.

The dry run? Definitely something you'd only want to do with volunteers, and you probably want to pull them out if they start to show signs of serious psych issues; but the ethics of having them potentially suffer serious psych issues on national television? What could possibly go right?

Re:The irony of ethics. (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#46660293)

I would consider it very ethical from you if build the ship and teach me piloting it that will bring ME for THE REST OF MY LIFE to mars. I don't see anything unethically there.

Re:The irony of ethics. (2)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 5 months ago | (#46660321)

you're conducting this very experiment in order for us to send people on a one-way trip to Mars.

You must be confusing this with the Mars-One project. TFA is a NASA project. There are no "one-way tickets" here.

Re:The irony of ethics. (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 5 months ago | (#46660357)

As long as they're volunteers (which they almost surely are) and know they're not coming back, I don't see much of an ethical problem.

Re:The irony of ethics. (1)

hodet (620484) | about 5 months ago | (#46660855)

I read that article and the comments (was it yesterday or the day before???) and I just don't see sending people to Mars as unethical. Astronauts are sentient beings with free will. They choose to do this just like ancient explorers chose the unknown horizon of the sea. Who knows they may colonize and adapt and will push humankind further. They choose to go, and for the type of personality that would even consider going to Mars, they live for this type of adventure. Now we should debate the economics perhaps, and if it makes sense spending billions of dollars to strap a rocket to someones ass and launch them towards some big hunk of red rock in the middle of nowhere, but ethics....please.

What's the big deal? (5, Insightful)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | about 5 months ago | (#46659733)

The Navy's been doing this for years, I find it difficult to understand why mixing in microgravity will suddenly make people go nuts.

Re:What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46659849)

Because your service in a submarine is still on this planet and eventually your tour ends and you go back home in a few days?

Re:What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46659909)

Fine take another example then.
It's not like we don't have examples where people have been trapped in mines, shipwrecks, collapsed buildings or other places where there is a very limited hope of ever getting out alive but perhaps one of the earlier arctic expeditions would be a better analogy. While there was expectation to return it was in a very long time.
Early boat voyages could also serve as an example.

Sure you can find examples where a person goes nuts, but most of the time they don't.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 5 months ago | (#46659911)

Because your service in a submarine is still on this planet and eventually your tour ends and you go back home in a few days?

And that won't be controlled for in this experiment.
I think the best they could do is find some solid scientists from up north (i.e. north pole) or down south (i.e. south pole) and get them to do the experiment. They are much more likely to be psychologically hardened to the conditions described. Then redshift their visors to an an extra possible stressor. Try to get them to live a year or two like that. Doing studies/experiments outside in bulky "mars suits".
But then I think most of us are pretty well convinced that this study is more about getting government money and creating excuses then actually studying unknowns.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 5 months ago | (#46660255)

Because your service in a submarine is still on this planet and eventually your tour ends and you go back home in a few days?

Months. And, after the steak and lobster run out, it is a fair comparison, but steak and lobster rarely run out on the long tour of duty "Boomers."

Re:What's the big deal? (5, Insightful)

Stargoat (658863) | about 5 months ago | (#46660471)

How about on a sailing ship then? And instead of 3 men and 3 women, make it 35 men. And let's not touch land for three years, as some of the old whalers did. And let's make sure that everyone knows there is a minimum of a 20% mortality starting off. And let's enforce discipline with a rope's end.

Humanity has been there and done that.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 5 months ago | (#46660377)

"Space madness" sounds about as plausible as "female hysteria" to me.

From the summary, it sounds like they're adding very little if anything to simulate Mars *specifically.* Haven't they even been doing these experiments to target space for, like, decades? What's special about this one other than slapping a "MARS!!!1!" buzzword on it?

Didn't the ESA and Russion already do this? (2)

LurkNoMore (2681167) | about 5 months ago | (#46659747)

Not that one data point is enough but hasn't this been done before? http://www.wired.com/2011/10/f... [wired.com] So now we're in a space race with the Russians to... stay secluded on Earth the longest?

What? (5, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about 5 months ago | (#46659781)

"...The stress will be compounded by the fact that the only time the crew will be able to leave their habitat-yurt is when they're wearing puffy, insulated uniforms that simulate space suits..."

Seriously, they're doing this in HAWAII?

That quote above is pretty much normal life for 6 months every year in MN...he said, looking out the window at 10" of new snow on April 4.

I'm only 80% joking. I kind of wonder if the people from here (and northward into America's hat) would be just psychologically better prepared for this sort of thing from a lifetime of having great chunks of your year sequestered inside.

Re:What? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#46659997)

You poor devil! How about submariners, who spend months at a time in cramped, crowded conditions?

Some individuals would be better suited to the task of off-planet settlement than others, and if the colony is given a proper chance for survival, they will breed and and nature will select for these characteristics.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46660165)

"...The stress will be compounded by the fact that the only time the crew will be able to leave their habitat-yurt is when they're wearing puffy, insulated uniforms that simulate space suits..."

Seriously, they're doing this in HAWAII?

More to the point, mars is mostly cold. The HOTTEST it gets, is the temperature it might be in hawaii (ref [nasa.gov] , accompanying article [nasa.gov] ). So how are they testing the other 90% of the experience?

Re:What? (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 5 months ago | (#46660267)

Hawaii is volcanic. The volcanoes are high, so you have to deal with a thin atmosphere. Unlike the arctic, you get more of a 12 hour dark/light cycle. These are all closer to Mars conditions than anywhere else you can find on Earth. You are going to land on Mars nearer the equator than the poles. But, of course, Hawaii is much hotter than Mars.

Re:What? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 5 months ago | (#46660281)

"...The stress will be compounded by the fact that the only time the crew will be able to leave their habitat-yurt is when they're wearing puffy, insulated uniforms that simulate space suits..."

Seriously, they're doing this in HAWAII?

I think it might be slightly _more_ maddening, being on top of the mountain in the crappy thin air, knowing what's just a jeep ride away, but you're not allowed to go....

The thing that makes it a non-comparison is that you eventually will be allowed to, or just break the rules and, go... in the little tin box with nothing but death on the other side of the door and no possible escape.... that's hard to get an accurate psychological simulation of.

Re:What? (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | about 5 months ago | (#46660373)

This same experiment has been tried before in Siberia, Greenland, and other more Martian-like environments. Seriously, I think the scientists just found an excuse to get a four-month paid vacation in Hawaii.

Experiment notes, day 112: Checked on subjects. Nope, not crazy yet. Spending rest of day at beach, will check again tomorrow.

One factor they are not simulating... (1)

nani popoki (594111) | about 5 months ago | (#46659789)

...is the longer Martian day (sol). What will that extra 1/2 hour (approximately) do to a species evolved for a shorter day? I suspect this will be another source of stress, especially as "interplanetary" communications schedules will fall in and out of step with sleep schedule.

Re:One factor they are not simulating... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46660217)

That would probably inconvenience the rugged outdoorsman of future-hypothetical-terraformed-Mars; but given that going 'outside' isn't really an option (you aren't necessarily in a building at all times; but you'll be wearing a fully sealed suit with atmospheric and probably thermal conditioning hardware, if you aren't indoors) it seems that just syncing the interior lighting to suit human preferences(presumably with the ability to voluntarily override at least outside of common areas and such, by hitting the light switch), and possibly throwing a few LEDs and variable-opacity helmet visors into the EVA suits would allow you to deal with that problem.

Re:One factor they are not simulating... (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#46660345)

The people will do better on Mars, synching with earth might be more a problem. After all we are not evolved to a 24h day but to a 26h to 28h day. Hence so many people have sleeping problems.

I believe all of that was done quite a while ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46659795)

Using Antarctica to model remote outposts. Limited water (takes too much fuel to melt), limited space (severe frostbite in one to two minutes), and no sunlight for 6 months. Now this was the FIRST station at the south pole.

Stress? (2)

fullback (968784) | about 5 months ago | (#46659803)

Millions of people live like that now in Tokyo. No big deal.
You can't even let the water run while brushing your teeth.

Good solution (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 5 months ago | (#46659805)

Each mission member will get only eight minutes of shower time

So? Just pick 6 other people from the mission and shower with them. Viola, 8 minute shower every day.

Plus, you'll always have someone to scrub your back.

Re:Good solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46660053)

Plus, you'll always have someone to scrub your back.

As long as you pick up the soap.

Submarines? (4, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | about 5 months ago | (#46659807)

Aside from the number of people being smaller, this does't seem that different from a tour of duty on a nuclear submarine. Three months is normal for that. Having little time to shower is a minor stress which could easily apply to almost any military duty, and submarines are again in that category. Moreover, submarine showers are disgusting. At least with a Mars mission you won't have the constant movement and shaking. And they don't get the regular email contact because they are underwater. http://www.cracked.com/article_20871_6-things-movies-dont-show-you-about-life-submarine.html [cracked.com] discusses some of the many unpleasant things about subs. It seems like the people who are worried about the "human factors" are massively overestimating what conditions human minds can actually cope with, and it seems they also aren't doing a good job looking at counterexamples to their worries. This shouldn't be that surprising though: Robert Zubrin in his excellent book "Case for Mars" argued that a large part of the medical and psychological research to see if humans could handle a trip to Mars was more excuses for grant funding than serious concerns.

Re:Submarines? (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#46659955)

Moreover, submarine showers are disgusting.

True enough. Having eight minutes of water for a shower is considered a luxury on one of the boats.

Try "turn water on long enough to get wet. soap up. turn water on long enough to rinse (note that it takes longer than that to get the water to come out hot). Done."

Re:Submarines? (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 5 months ago | (#46660445)

I always wondered about that bit from Hunt For Red October (the book) about "Hollywood showers" -- a 30-minute extravaganza the skipper would occasionally allow as a reward for excellent performance. Is that common? I only know one guy who served on a sub (he was a nuke), but they didn't do that on his boat.

Re:Submarines? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#46660513)

Yes, the "Hollywood Shower" was a real thing in the boats.

Though the phrase was more often a disparagement used for people who let the water run long enough to get hot before getting in the shower....

Re:Submarines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46659973)

I think the studies also fail at perhaps the most critical part of a Mars mission: there is no safety net.

If you know you're in a dome in Hawaii, you know that if things get terrible that the whole thing will be scrubbed, you'll walk out the door with the huge EXIT sign and go back to your normal life. I think knowing you can escape at any time puts a damper on gaining any meaningful information about how people will interact with each other for 3 months.

On Mars, there is no escape. If things go bad, you don't get a do-over, you don't get to take a timeout and try again. You simply have to cope. And I'm not one to believe humans are incapable of coping.

If I could, I would sign up to go to Mars today, because I believe it's a mission worth doing and I believe humans are more than capable of being successful.

Re:Submarines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46660037)

Good points. Although my thoughts were that the people on the early Antarctic expeditions suffered very onerous conditions, awful food, and total isolation from the rest of humanity for 18 months to two years (read Shackleton's books). So I have my doubts that people will go insane on Mars... unless they are forced to eat biscuits and seal blubber.

Will their helmets be tinted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46659809)

The one thing I never see mentioned is if their helmets and windows will be red shifted. The major concern I would have for humans on mars is we are adapted to expect blue skies and the associated light frequencies that come with it.

Re:Will their helmets be tinted? (1)

hey! (33014) | about 5 months ago | (#46660137)

The sky on Mars is blue during the daytime. Why wouldn't it be? Same Sun, same Rayleigh scattering, so you get a similar sky during the day, albeit somewhat darker than Earth's because of a thinner, dryer atmosphere. Mid-day martian landscapes look remarkably like barren Earth deserts.

The soil on Mars is reddish, but it's not because the Sun is reddish; it's because of minerals in the soil. If you brought a bunch of paint sample cards from the hardware store to Mars, they'd look exactly the same. On top of that, the Mars day is only slightly longer than a terrestrial day (by 37 minutes). That's actually *good* because most people tend to have circadian rhythms slightly longer than 24 hours.

A similar question about color arose in my sci-fi writing group. What would a landscape on a red star's planet look like? The answer is "different, but not red." You'd still have a blue sky, and you'd still have the same range of colors, but with the color *balance* is shifted. It's like going from a cold white LED bulb to a warm white incandescent bulb. Blue things will still be blue and red things red, but the blue thing will look more muted under the "reddish" light (which will still appear white because it has a broad spectrum of colors in it).

BIODOME! (2)

BisuDagger (3458447) | about 5 months ago | (#46659811)

Anyone else worried that Pauly Shore will accidentally wander into the testing facility before it closes up?!?!

Re:BIODOME! (1)

phishen (1044934) | about 5 months ago | (#46660723)

How did you get a job?

Fucking President Clinton..

Whoa, you had sex with President Clinton!?

Danger (1)

robmv (855035) | about 5 months ago | (#46659833)

Will their lives be in danger every second, simulating a real hostile world with a the delay to save them taking months to arrive? If that isn't simulated I don't see them being stressed enough to get some kind of madness, living in closed quarters is not enough to make people go crazy

Define "Living" (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 5 months ago | (#46659843)

If we don't wipe ourselves off this planet first, then maybe colonization on Mars is possible but you have to definite what living is on a planet with extremely hostile conditions. Yeah they'll be living in a habitat but without it they won't be able to survive. I guess it would be akin to the research teams at the South Pole working isolation and cut off for months at a time from any chance of resupply or exodus but from time to time at least they can go outside with less life support than if they were in Mars. No, I think colonies on Mars would definitely need lots of heavy duty meds and other things to take the inhabitants minds off the fact that without their fragile eco system and periodic resupply from Earth, there'd be no way they could survive there, not live there, survive.

What about living on the Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46659861)

Or in the center of the Earth? They're equally likely and I demand we talk about it.

Catch 22 (3, Insightful)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 5 months ago | (#46659887)

You have to be crazy to go. If you are crazy, they won't send you.

Space is Big (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46659897)

Adding space to a space ship takes very little relative mass and will likely stop people from killing each other. It's going to take trillions to send people to Mars. Adding an extra billion or so for a larger habitat isn't going to make that much of a difference to the overall budget.

While we are at it, why are we even thinking about sending people to Mars without an O'Neill Cylinder? Arriving with a third of your crew dead from heart attacks and near zero muscle / bone mass is really going to help with the colonization effort.

Already done? (1)

the_arrow (171557) | about 5 months ago | (#46659925)

Didn't they do some experiment like that in Russia or something? Locked some people into a confined space for several months, without any real contact with the world outside. Or was it only on the planning stage? I don't remember.

Re:Already done? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46659975)

Didn't they do some experiment like that in Russia or something? Locked some people into a confined space for several months, without any real contact with the world outside. Or was it only on the planning stage? I don't remember.

No, they did it. And it was for years, not months. Way back under Stalin, to be precise.

Yes. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 5 months ago | (#46659931)

At least until they start opening a few 7/11's up there.

Can you imagine not being able to step out on a Thursday night for a microwave pizza puff, pack of smokes and a 2-liter Orange Crush?

Talk about driving somebody crazy...

Do you want Reavers? (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about 5 months ago | (#46659957)

Do you want Reavers? Because that's how you get Reavers.

closer to reality of brutal environment needed (1)

vpness (921181) | about 5 months ago | (#46659995)

+ the post poking fun that they're doing this in Hawaii. I was immediately struck by the fact that the main part of the isolation is the realization that NO HELP CAN COME, and I AM STUCK HERE WITH THESE IDIOTS and I WILL DIE IF I GO OUTSIDE UNPROTECTED am wondering if they did this on the antartic, that might better simulate those more real impacts. I was going to write that the Europeans colonizing the Americas or Austrailia 400 years was a parallel, but it's not. Yes, help was delayed, and yes the outside was brutal, but the parallels just aren't the same in degree of impact.

Space Madness (1)

Stele (9443) | about 5 months ago | (#46660073)

Oh my beloved ice-cream bar! How I love to lick thy creamy center!

Earth (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about 5 months ago | (#46660093)

Living on earth is enough to drive me crazy, let alone Mars.

So it is like college.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46660123)

... NASA is hoping to find out what life on Mars does to the human emotional state by putting three men and three women in a 1,000-square-foot habitat shaped like a dome for four months.

This sounds a lot like a college apartment when we had our girlfriends over. Give them plenty of beer and everyone will be fine.

Biosphere 2 (1)

darkshadow (102598) | about 5 months ago | (#46660199)

What about Biosphere 2 [wikipedia.org]

Plenty of time (1)

gsslay (807818) | about 5 months ago | (#46660277)

In all seriousness, this isn't a personal hygene snark, I don't see how 8 minutes showering a week could be considered such a massive hardship.

Say you shower every second day, you're not going to be the freshest thing on Mars, but you'll not stink that bad. So that gives you a little over two and a quarter minutes to get a wash. No time to luxuriate. But plenty time to get clean if you get on with it.

They think I'm crazy, but I know better. (1)

JoshDM (741866) | about 5 months ago | (#46660283)

It is not I who am crazy... IT IS I WHO AM MAD!

eight minutes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46660285)

" Each mission member will get only eight minutes of shower time ... per week."

Sounds like they should be recruiting form the slashdot crowd. Unless the 8 minutes is Mandatory.

crazier you mean (1)

apaulo (3604529) | about 5 months ago | (#46660291)

considering the insanity we culturally experience in 2014 imagine colonizing another planet. its either going to be the tightest family you could imagine or the wild wild west

Sounds like "Friends" in hell. (1)

Cmdr-Absurd (780125) | about 5 months ago | (#46660323)

Three men, three women, not much to do. Watch what happens with their mode and relationships.
Will there be a Ross and a Rachel on the mission?
Wait... The puffy shirt was on Seinfeld!

Add some reality to the simulation (1)

xednieht (1117791) | about 5 months ago | (#46660407)

Participants will be euthanized at the end of the "experiment". That's essentially what a one-way mission to Mars is, the worlds most expensive euthanasia program.

No, but (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 5 months ago | (#46660409)

Seeing posts by Hugh Pickets will.

Re:No, but (1)

glasshole (3569269) | about 5 months ago | (#46660467)

Somehow I think we'll find out one day he and Nerval's Lobster were just bots all along, unreleased parts of Slashcode.

Oculus Rift space edition :) (1)

Mr_Nitro (1174707) | about 5 months ago | (#46660461)

I would just do all activities that dont require physical presence inside a VR earth/whatever simulator.... email, stuff... maybe even gym ...running in some kind of tropical paradise etc: ) ...reality is overrated :)

Do we have the technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46660465)

To make them believe that they are actually tens of millions of kilometers away from any possible rescue if something went catastrophically wrong?

ITS A TRAP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46660521)

- Cramped space - check
- One shower a week - check
- Human interaction only using internet - check
- Three women trapped inside - check

The slashdotter hunting season has begun!
RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

Will living on Mars drive us crazy? (1)

Chas (5144) | about 5 months ago | (#46660643)

Probably not.

Why?

Because living on earth has ALREADY driven us crazy.

So it's a case of "wherever you go, there you are".

Now let us spread our nuts to the universe!

Easy solution -- make habitat like mom's basement (1)

swb (14022) | about 5 months ago | (#46660677)

We'll have thousands of potential colonists who can exist in that environment for months.

Wouldn't work on me (1)

phishen (1044934) | about 5 months ago | (#46660749)

I don't think I could correctly participate in the experiment because I'd know if anything went wrong that it would all be over soon, and if anything really went wrong they would open it up and rescue me

Now if they told me I was going to fly to Mars and put me in a simulator that made me feel like I was actually lifting off and going into space (and I didn't know it was a simulation) I'd probably fall for it. Sounds like a better experiment to me. Actually, I think that's a J. G. Ballard short story already. Oh well.

If only... (1)

itsdapead (734413) | about 5 months ago | (#46660757)

If only there were documented cases of people living in confined, isolated conditions in, I dunno, research bases in the Antarctic, prisons, hospitals, tin cans under the sea for weeks at a time, or even tin cans in low Earth orbit... then we could learn all about the effects of isolation and cramped conditions.

Now, I'm full of the Wrong Stuff, and won't be volunteering to go to Mars anytime soon... but if I did, I suspect it would be because, whatever the discomforts and dangers, you got to explore strange new worlds, boldly go where no one has gone before and all that jazz. Doing that in a simulation strikes me as particularly depressing with no pay off beyond some psychology and physiology research - that could probably be obtained from existing data, and are unlikely to result in any high schools being named after you.

Doing this in the Antarctic, or in some deep-sea habitat and combining it with some exploration or research that would motivate the non-psychologist members of the team seems like a better simulation.

lol (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46660767)

'Fortunately, we're not ethically allowed to subject our crew to that kind of thing.'"
But Fox made a reality game show exactly like this except worse. It's called Solitary.

TV Reality (1)

mrex (25183) | about 5 months ago | (#46660783)

'You wouldn't believe the number of producers who called us,' says Binsted. 'Fortunately, we're not ethically allowed to subject our crew to that kind of thing.'"

Isn't it sort of an indictment of our culture that we do something for casual entertainment that we would never allow ourselves to do for the purposes of advancing human scientific knowledge?

8 min? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46660821)

"Each mission member will get only eight minutes of shower time ... per week."

That's 4 more than I get per week now. Sounds like bliss.

Nobody asks the obvious? (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 5 months ago | (#46660833)

Are they going to have Mars sex? Oh wait:

Each mission member will get only eight minutes of shower time ... per week.

Hmm.. well, the cave people reproduced..

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