The University of Hawaii and Nasa have kicked off the fifth experiment meant to simulate living on Mars. It's called the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog Simulation (HI-SEAS), and it sounds pretty nuts.

The experiment takes six people and puts them in a dome at the foot of a volcano. They'll need to live there in seclusion for eight months. Last year's experiment lasted an entire year.

This year's experiment features two women and four men. Five of them are American engineers while the sixth is a British researcher. The goal of this experiment is to monitor social interaction and the problems that come from being isolated in a small group for a long time, something science recognizes is a huge challenge for long-term space exploration.

The difference with this year's experiment?Limited direction

Instead of "earth" constantly offering aid through communication, this experiment will see waxing and waning direction from the home base side. That might affect social interaction and planning, or so that's the intent.

You can read more about this at NPR by hitting the source link below.