Bri­ton emerges from iso­la­tion af­ter 8 months of ‘Mar­tian’ life

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Har­riet Alexan­der in New York

A BRI­TISH man will to­day emerge from eight months liv­ing in a dome in Hawaii with just five other peo­ple as part of a Nasa-backed study into sur­viv­ing on Mars.

Sa­muel Payler, a doc­toral can­di­date at the UK Cen­tre for Astro­bi­ol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh, be­came the first Bri­ton to par­tic­i­pate in the re­search when he en­tered the dome in Jan­uary, on the fifth such mis­sion. The HI-SEAS team (Hawaii Space Ex­plo­ration Ana­log & Sim­u­la­tion), from the Univer­sity of Hawaii, be­gan send­ing peo­ple into iso­la­tion in 2012, in a bid to as­sess how hu­mans re­act to it. Nasa hopes to be able to send hu­mans to Mars by the 2030s.

“This is our fifth mis­sion, and we have learned a lot over those five mis­sions,” said Kim Bin­sted, from the Univer­sity of Hawaii.

“So the pre­vi­ous three mis­sions, the four-, eight- and 12-month mis­sions, those were pri­mar­ily look­ing at crew co­he­sion and per­for­mance.

“On this mis­sion and go­ing for­ward we are look­ing at crew se­lec­tion and com­po­si­tion.”

Four men and two women en­tered the 1,200 sq ft dome that they would call home in Jan­uary. Mr Payler was the only non-Amer­i­can.

His two fe­male col­leagues were a for­mer soft­ware en­gi­neer at Google, Laura Lark; and Ans­ley Barnard, an en­gi­neer from Ne­vada who has de­signed aero­dy­namic body­work for cars rac­ing in the 100th Indy 500.

Ms Barnard hopes to become an as­tro­naut, but prior to en­ter­ing the dome worked in en­gi­neer­ing op­ti­mi­sa­tion at Ford Mo­tor Com­pany seek­ing to re­duce ve­hi­cle weight, cost and en­gi­neer­ing time.

Sur­viv­ing on canned and freezedried food, they were al­lowed out­side – but only in space suits.

They were able to com­mu­ni­cate with the out­side world – but only with a 20-minute de­lay, to mimic the time lag for com­mu­ni­ca­tions from Mars.

Bri­ton Sa­muel Payler has com­pleted an eight-month study into liv­ing on Mars

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