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Updated: Jan 19

There's a research station in Hawaii being used as a long-duration Mars and moon exploration project.

Hawaii. The tropical paradise with relaxing beaches, lush forests, and plenty of tourists. It's probably the last place on Earth that resembles the harsh environments of Mars or the moon … Or is it?

Kim Binsted, principal investigator, HI-SEAS, said, "So the habitat is a geodesic dome. It's got about 1,000 square feet of interior space, and it's set on a disused quarry in the middle of a field of lava flows on the side of Mauna Loa, which is the largest mountain on Earth. And the area around it is very stark. There's no plant life that you can see. There's no animal life except for the occasional spider that shows up. And there's no signs of human activity.

"HI-SEAS stands for Hawai'i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation. And what it is, is a small habitat that's similar to what a Mars habitat might be like, on Mauna Loa on the Big Island. And there we do these long-duration simulations of what it would be like to explore the surface of the red planet."

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