Wednesday, June 18, 2014


We have a unique opportunity to learn about one of the brave and fortunate people to be included in a study of what it could be like to live on Mars. Ross Lockwood is currently living in sMars (or simulated Mars) on an isolated part of one of the islands of Hawaii. It is a program through the university of Hawi'i called the Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS). 

Here is what we were told about him:
Ross is a student at the University of Alberta studying Condensed Matter Physics, specifically silicon quantum dots (what computer chips among much more are made of). He was chosen as one of 6 members from an international pool of applicants for this mission. One of his responsibilities is to investigate the feasibility of 3D printed tools on future space missions to lessen cargo.
We are unable to Skype with him but can email him our questions.  Here is the reason why "They operate all communications on a 40 minute delay to mirror the actual speed of light delay experienced in space flight."

The Canadian Press - see here for full story
"A Kelowna scientist doing his PhD at the University of Alberta is joining the crew of a NASA-funded simulated mission to Mars after beating out hundreds of applicants from around the world.  Ross Lockwood and five others will spend four months inside a sealed environment high on the slopes of a Hawaiian mountain.  The main purpose of the mission, starting March 28, is to help the space agency develop psychological guidelines that will be used to select future astronauts capable of making a real trip to Mars."

About the mission - University of Hawi'i press release

"During the upcoming study, researchers from outside of the HI-SEAS habitat will monitor the six crew members isolated inside the solar-powered dome at a remote site at 8,000 feet elevation on the slopes of Mauna Loa. The researchers will evaluate the crew’s communications strategies, crew workload and job-sharing, and conflict resolution/conflict management approaches to determine the most important factors for the success of a long-duration space mission."

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