So most of us are probably never gonna to be able to go to the Moon or to Mars.
But here on the big Island of Hawaii, 8000 feet above sea level, this white dome, it's called HI-SEAS.
And it's a habitat where researchers and scientists are studying what it might be like and preparing to get to the red planet and to the Moon.
I'm gonna go inside, check it out, and then see what it's like to live as an astronaut in this rocky, crazy, beautiful terrain.
HI-SEAS stands for Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation and it was build in 2013 on the site of an abandon query.
The habitat accommodates 6 astronauts and has sleeping quarters, a kitchen, two bathrooms and even a space to workout.
These workstations that you talked to Mission Control or the outside world, but messages are delayed anywhere from a few seconds to over 20 minutes to simulate the delay from the moon or Mars.
So in a nutshell that the purpose of these missions is to test as many scientific experiments, the technologies.
That are gonna help prepare get humans to the moon and Mars.
So we need to test the space suits, the communication systems, we bring robots sometimes on some missions to test there and recently we had an experiment designed by students in Slovakia Where we were collecting our hair from the crew members, the solving it and various chemicals and then using that as fertilizer.
So there's a lot of stuff we can do here.
It's a great environment for that and I really well built facility.
So this kitchens pretty big.
It's probably the biggest space we have in this habitat.
And the reason for that is that actually the very first mission that started here and for which this place was actually built was a NASA mission focusing on food for astronauts.
They're trying to figure out what's the best kind of food to give people on long duration missions.
They had to choose between freeze dried food, or stuff out of tubes and cans, that kind of thing.
And so they were testing it for about four months and they found that the best food is actually the freeze dried food because of the cooking element.
The fact that you actually have to spend several hours rehydrating that food, cooking it in this big kitchen.
So this is what freeze dried carrots look like.
So not appetizing.
And then there's things like freeze dried pineapple, for example.
That's actually something tasty.
Hopefully there's some left in here for you to try.
This one you can actually munch on.
So we do like to have that as a snack.
That looks good.
And there's a tiny little bit there, [LAUGH]
Right, a little bit, [SOUND].
That's nice, it's like candy.
Yeah, it's pretty, it has a nice smell and everything.
[CROSSTALK] the tropics, being Hawaiian and not being Hawaiian-
Not being here, really Yeah.
Hey, well let's have a look at the sleeping quarters upstairs.
Each crew member gets their own room.
A little bit of privacy.
So at least some privacy, yeah.
So as an example this was my commander's room, but unfortunately these wars Aren't very big.
So even if a person is snoring.
You can hear them?
We can still hear it but it's better than having it coming from both sides, just one is enough.
And everything here is made to be
Accommodate as many things as possible.
For example, this is your stool to sit on behind the table
But it's also a storage container.
[UNKNOWN] kind of works but then if you imagine you maybe having your suitcase which you know could fit underneath or maybe have something else Suddenly it's like you can't really move around too much in here.
I wanna sit on the bed and lie on the bed and see how comfortable this is.
Cuz if you're here for a sensibly eight months on a mission, you wanna make sure that you're getting good sleep.
It's It's a foam mattress, it does feel comfy.
We tried to make them be as comfortable as possible exactly for that reason.
That's pretty good.
I'm not gonna put my feet on your [UNKNOWN].
That's pretty good, okay.
Pillow should be fairly comfortable too.
It's not bad.
I mean I'm
5'11 so I could feasibly fit here without too much discomfort.
I wouldn't wanna be any taller.
We've had some six foot two guys in here but I think they had to sleep diagonally for it to work.
They would kinda like wiggle into the corner and curl up like a fetus?
Yeah, but then you have to worry about Right [LAUGH]
You know hitting your head on that so you know it's all a bit of a compromise you know.
Yeah, all right well I think maybe that's what life is all right after all.
Well this is definitely the smallest room in the habitat.
And is definitely one of the most important rooms here.
Right, like we are very limited amount of time we can take a shower so we have a timer just here.
Every crew member has to record the amount of time they shower for and they're only allowed eight minutes per week.
So take that in, you know,
Eight minutes per week, a minute a day and then little extra
Probably the most important element here is the quote unquote space toilet flush toilet.
So I've done my business.
We don't want to see that.
So then we have this basically material that's kind of to feed the microbes and then there's a special
Spray for the microbes to make them happy right?
Now you're going to take this handle out just here now clockwise, very, very important to go clockwise.
Turn it until that whole comes back.
And this way you're kind of mixing your new additions with what was there before, and then you're going to take their time, usually few days to a few weeks to digest what's going on in there.
And then there's a drawer at the bottom where we.
We can open up and get get rid of the stuff we don't want.
It's quite literally a crappy job.
Fun part for us is suiting up with the space suits, okay.
Astronauts don't just stay inside when they are on a mission, wearing a simulated space suit they can go on extra vehicular activity or EVA.
They collect samples via minerals and help map out areas outside the habitat.
Now we venture outside.
We have to go for the airlock system.
Okay, so normally we would have someone on the inside, a so called [UNKNOWN], the main communicator for the habitat who would start a countdown for us.
And then we would have to wait here.
We'd put our masks on.
The air is all good to go.
Okay, time to go to Mars.
So this is one of the scientific stations we have around here.
There multiple and they have all kind of different purposes.
It can have anything from having seismometers, measuring The kind of activity happening here on this volcano, cuz Mauna Loa is still active.
so there might even be an eruption, so we need to monitor that and be careful, but we also monitor the weather various gases in the air and things like that.
So they're relevant both to local research here in Hawaii But also to planetary science research related to the moon and Mars.
Who has to maintain all of it?
We have different scientist that maintain it, so when we're out of simulation we agree with them and we take them here, they do it themselves.
But if something needs to happen during assimilated mission, then actually we come in here.
We have space [UNKNOWN] and then we have to do everything with these thick gloves.
Something that would take five minutes without the space [UNKNOWN] took us almost 45 minutes.
Wow, I'm glad I'm not doing it today.
It look beautiful I just it's it's, it's of this world yet of not of this world.
It is very unusual.
But this kind of environment is what you would find on the surface of Mars or similar things on the moon because both planetary bodies have parts that are covered in kinda lava type material.
So On Mars, the color is very similar to what we're working.
It is actually geologically accurate, we can do scientific research relevant to studying the surface of Mars.
With a slightly different space suit, probably.
This is not quite what it will look like, of course.
Different, I mean, the surface of Mars, I mean, on Mars, you would only feel about a third of the gravity we feel here.
So it's appropriate that the suites are a bit lighter.
It wouldn't be as heavy as the several hundred pound space suits you have up in space, I mean, you can't even move around in those.
Right, [LAUGH] well, this is heavy enough for me, I'm telling you, this is more than enough weight.
More than enough constriction being over 8000 feet elevation you really feel it.
This is tough
Wow, that was something else, it was like being on another planet I don't think I'm quite ready for Mars or the Moon just yet, but that's exactly what it's gonna be like.
[LAUGH] Thanks so much for watching.
Hope you enjoy the episode, and catch you next time.
Woo, now that was hard.
I need windscreen wipers
This is what happens.