There are no active ads.


NASA to lock 4 people in a capsule for 30 days to study isolation

by Todd Haselton | February 4, 2016February 4, 2016 7:20 am PDT

This one kind of reminds me of my childhood visit to Biosphere 2 in Arizona. A story from Science Alert says that NASA is planning to lock four humans in a small capsule for 30 days to try to better understand what it’s like for them living closely together. They could have just studied my roommates and I during college. In any case, it’s similar to Biosphere 2 – though on a much smaller scale – where scientists were locked in a large campus and tasked with surviving on their own.

NASA says the scientists will be living in a “house” but, as you can see in the images above, it’s much smaller than what you and I might consider a house.

“These inhabitants won’t go outside for 30 days,” NASA said. “Their communication with the rest of planet earth will be very limited, and they won’t have any access to Internet.” They’ll be allowed to talk to one another and with mission control. Sounds like hell on Earth to me, especially considering the ISS gets movie screenings and access to social media.

“This mission simulates a 715-day journey to a Near-Earth asteroid, the four crew members will complete activities similar to what would happen during an outbound transit, on location at the asteroid, and the return transit phases of a mission (just in a bit of an accelerated timeframe),” NASA explained. “This simulation means that even when communicating with mission control, there will be a delay on all communications ranging from 1 to 10 minutes each way. The crew will also perform virtual spacewalk missions once they reach their destination, where they will inspect the asteroid and collect samples from it.”

NASA says it will be running 19 individual investigations during the tests, including psychological effects on the inhabitants. I’d probably end up banging on the door demanding McDonald’s after a few hours.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...