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NASA volunteers complete year-long mission in Mars bunker simulation

NASA volunteers complete year-long mission in Mars bunker simulation

Four NASA volunteers have completed their year-long mission in a simulated Mars bunker.

The group, which consisted of Kelly Haston, Anca Selariu, Ross Brockwell, and Nathan Jones, have been let out of a simulation of the unexplored planet after they first entered it in June 2023 as part of NASA’s Crew Health and Performance Analog venture, the inaugural mission of a planned series.

Selariu told reporters that bringing life to the Red Planet was "one thing dearest to my heart" so therefore was honoured to be involved in the scheme.

She added that her "beloved friends and family have always been there when I needed them" and that she will "always have them in my heart and in my memory wherever I go" now that the mission is complete.

During the programme, the group acted out many Mars mission operations, such as ‘Marswalks’, growing their own vegetables, maintaining equipment, and living life under conditions identical to those on the planet.

This meant a communication delay to the control pad, limited resources, and separation from the rest of the universe.

They form part of the first of three similar missions at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Mars Dune Alpha, a 3-D-printed structure dubbed "an isolated 1,700-square-foot habitat".

NASA says it is still preparing for another visit to the Moon and intends for the trip to act as a launchpad for further Mars investigations.

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