To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

NASA crew 'living on Mars' in simulation for one year gives exciting update halfway through
Featured Image Credit: NASA/CHAPEA crew

NASA crew 'living on Mars' in simulation for one year gives exciting update halfway through

The crew has been simulating the challenges which might come up on a real mission to Mars

A NASA crew has been simulating what it would be like to live on Mars, and has finally issued an update about how things are going - and it's not all been smooth sailing.

While humans haven't been back to the Moon since the last lunar mission in 1972, that certainly hasn't stopped us from thinking about the next steps.

And if we're talking about crewed missions into space, then the obvious next step in our exploration in space is of course the Red Planet.

But a big problem here is, unsurprisingly, the distance. While it takes about three days to get to the Moon, a journey to Mars would take seven months.

Space is really big.

You have to make it worth the trip, and one way to do that is to establish a base of operations on Mars so you can stay a bit longer.

And that's exactly what this team at NASA has been trying to simulate in conditions which are as near as possible to what astronauts might encounter on a Mars trip.

Essentially, the CHAPEA crew are LARPing a trip to Mars in a big simulated environment in Texas. There's even an 'exterior' that they must don spacesuits to enter.

From left, Anca Selariu, Ross Brockwell, Kelly Haston, and Dr. Nathan Jones.

While that might sound like a perfect way to escape from all the fun things that the 2020s continue to inflict on us, it's certainly no picnic.

The personnel on the mission take it very seriously indeed, and six months on they have given an update.

Sadly, it involves a tragic loss in what one crew member described as a 'traumatic death'.

In the simulated environment.

Though luckily, it's not a human crew, but a robot.

Medical officer Dr. Nathan Jones said: "I may have accidentally murdered one of our robots."

A big part of the test is to see the effects of isolation on crew members.

Science officer Anca Selariu said: "I really miss driving. I miss seeing trees, I miss seeing green. I miss the colors, the seasons. I miss everything about Earth."

But there are ways that they can pass the time.

Jones said: "We're the best movie critics on Mars. Top four, for sure."

And while there isn't any champagne to bring in the new year, there are tomatoes which they have grown themselves.

Mission commander Kelly Haston said: "We'll be toasting with the tomatoes from the garden."

In a statement released at the start of the experiment, NASA said: "We’re really looking at how the crew performance and health changes based on realistic Mars restrictions and lifestyle of the crew members.

"So the lifestyle is what we’re trying to simulate by setting up a realistic environment and workload for the CHAPEA crew.”

Topics: News, World News, US News, Space, NASA