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Will Living on Mars Drive Us Crazy?

nasa mars space madness hawaii psychological effects life red planet space

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#1 Crisp



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Posted 08 April 2014 - 14:18

Will Living on Mars Drive Us Crazy?

Six humans are in Hawaii, testing the psychological effects of life on another planet.




When human space travel made its transition from pipe dream to reality, one of the unknowns humans contended with concerned not just the physics of space, but the psychology of it. How would the human mind react to the final frontier? Would microgravity, combined with the isolation of a spaceship, cause a kind of claustrophobia? Would propulsion outside of Earth's bounds, in the end, cause astronauts to experience a psychic break? Was there such thing, as science fiction writers had long feared, as "space madness"?

Space, fortunately, does not drive us crazy. But that doesn't mean we've stopped caring about the effects its new environments will have on our psychology. The new version of the old "space madness" question is how time away from our home planet will affect us—in the long term. What could life on Mars do to that that other cosmic mystery: the human emotional state?

NASA is hoping to find out. This week, in partnership with the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the agency launched the latest version of its Mars simulation experiment, the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation mission. On Hawaii's Big Island, 8,200 feet above sea level, conditions are as Martian as they can be on Earth: Mauna Loa's volcanic soil is quite similar to the volcanic regolith that can be found on Mars. HI-SEAS in general aims to replicate, as closely as is possible on Earth, what life would be like on Mars—and its latest iteration will put human emotions to the test.


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#2 Hum


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Posted 08 April 2014 - 14:33

The Alien bases there will keep us up at night.

#3 spacer


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Posted 08 April 2014 - 14:40

A cool idea, but it won't produce any valid results.


I doubt they will actually enforce everything they need to in order to truly simulate a Mars habitat. Both NASA and the university can't afford a death or any long lasting mental problems of the participants. Not to mention there will always be this reassuring feeling in the back of the minds of the participants that they're really still on Earth. In an emergency, help isn't too far away. And that knowledge will surely skew the results.


Now, if they plan on hypnotizing the participants to make them THINK they're really on Mars, then they have a valid experiment for the psychological effects of space travel. But even that would go out the window once something as simple as rain happens. It's just a waste of time.

#4 MDboyz



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Posted 08 April 2014 - 14:51

A week without internet I could go crazy and kill people ahah j/k ...

#5 Louisifer



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Posted 08 April 2014 - 15:07

I think the only issue with space madness would be when the untrained are allowed into space, Today we give astronauts mental and physical exams before we send them out into space.

Once we start sending the average Joe who can afford it I wouldn't be surprised if many break from isolation :p just look at Big Brother D: