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Walking on Red Dust

Being a test subject on simulated Mars

28 Nov 2015, 22:55 UTC
Being a test subject on simulated Mars
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[Version fran├žaise sur le site de La Recherche]
Like a ship in a bottle. Metaphor suggested by Pete Roma.

Are your coworkers or roommates sometimes getting on your nerves? Imagine being roomies with your coworkers. Five of them. And imagine living with them for a year, without seeing or talking to anyone else and without any of you ever leaving your flat. Imagine that water, electricity and food are extremely precious and must be shared; nothing is yours. This under a high workload, with high responsibilities. Ah, and your coworkers/roommates all have very strong personalities. Astronauts on Mars will be exposed to such conditions.
We are researchers. We have been selected for profiles that match what is expected from the first astronauts on Mars, so we all have scientific and engineering skills of relevance for a mission to Mars. But here, we are also tests subjects. How do mental health, performances and interactions of a team of scientists evolve when isolated in a confined environment? We are here to figure it out.
So we are constantly monitored. First, with surveys; 7 a day at the very least. Some are about our health and mood: anyone sick or wounded? ...

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