PICES Tour: Nov. 9, 2014 (Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems)
Highpoints of attending the ‘Next Giant Leap’ Conference on the Big Island, Hawaii
HI-SEAS habitat dome, where six will live for eight months (until Spring 2015) as if on Mars. Mauna Loa at 8000 feet provides an ideal geologic analogue to the surface of Mars. Scientists at the University of Hawaii are studying the social, emotional, and cognitive effects on performance of humans living “beyond Earth.” This simulation of life on Mars will contribute to our knowledge of what some of those critical characteristics are to succeed on long-term flights.
Visit the team inside to see how they’re doing!
HI-SEAS.org (Hawaiian Space Exploration Analogue Simulation)
At 13,600’, my blood oxygen is so low that writing this was slow and shaky! To be at the summit of Mauna Kea, where heaven meets earth, is to reach out to touch the face of heaven.
Here, the cool dry air and the ‘artificial star’ correction system allow the Keck (8 stories high) telescope optics to produce images better than those from the Hubble Space Telescope, orbiting 347 miles high.
The basalt on the Big Island is similar to that of the Moon and areas on Mars. In granular form, it could be used on those locations to make materials on a 3D-Printer. I’m inside basalt Lava Tubes, similar to those found on Mars.
The caverns, many with skylight openings, are volcanic are created by quicker cooling on top over the flow beneath, and would make reasonable living quarters on Mars — perhaps with the addition of a few throw pillows to cushion the edges.
On the Lunar Analogue, Mauna Loa
Lunar or Martian, there’s no place like dome!
Magnificent in their beauty, the analogues of the moon and Mars are nice places to visit — but the real estate leaves something to be desired. So the domes to come will offer to those inside some of what we know from Earth: gardens for growing food, water, sounds of the Earth like wind and tides, music and movies.
Even the best of us get homesick. Just ask a freshman living in a dorm; we discover our love of what we cannot have anymore.