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Tech & Science An all-woman Mars analog crew just 'returned to Earth' in Hawaii

17:15  21 january  2020
17:15  21 january  2020 Source:   space.com

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An all -female crew of analog astronauts have " returned to Earth ," completing a two-week mission in a mock Mars habitat on the big island of Hawaii . The first all - woman crew of the HI-SEAS mock Mars habitat poses for a group photo after completing Sensoria I, a two-week space mission simulation.

“ analog ” mars mission in Hawaii . on January 4, 2020, six scientists embarked on their first mission and have now ‘ returned to earth ’ after spending two weeks at Hawaii Under the Sensoria project, a series of missions will be conducted and they all will be women -led or will keep women in the majority.

a group of people standing outside of a building: The Sensoria crew jumps for joy before entering the mock Martian habitat on Jan. 4, 2020. The crew will stay in the habitat until Jan. 18, 2020. © Provided by Space The Sensoria crew jumps for joy before entering the mock Martian habitat on Jan. 4, 2020. The crew will stay in the habitat until Jan. 18, 2020.

KONA, Hawaii — An all-female crew of analog astronauts have "returned to Earth," completing a two-week mission in a mock Mars habitat on the big island of Hawaii.

Six scientists entered the HI-SEAS habitat (the name is short for Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) — an analog Mars base for human researchers that sits on a remote slope of the Mauna Loa volcano — on Jan. 4. On Saturday (Jan. 18), at about 4 p.m. local time (9 p.m. EST/0200 GMT ), they emerged from the habitat through an airlock, completing the simulation.

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The project, known as the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS, ended Six people just finished a yearlong experiment living inside a dome in Hawaii to simulate life on Mars . All six crew members kept blogs about the experience. In one post, the mission doctor, Sheyna

As an anthropologist who has worked on and directed numerous archaeological digs in Africa, France and throughout the United States , Masters observes that it is easy to conceptualize just how much more could be learned 2. An all - woman Mars analog crew just ' returned to Earth ' in Hawaii . 3.

This mission, known as Sensoria I, is the first all-female mission at HI-SEAS and the first mission to take place as part of the Sensoria project, a larger initiative that will include a series of missions that will be female-led and female-majority, J.J. Hastings, a bioengineer, the commander of Sensoria I and the CEO of Analogs LLC, a company that is backing the project, told Space.com. 

"While future Sensoria missions will welcome male researchers as well,  we believe that women need to be placed at the center of our shared vision for space exploration, that women need to be given a platform for professional development, opportunities for research and training," Hastings told Space.com as the mission began.  

While a first for HI-SEAS, the mission is not the first all-woman Mars analog mission. That title belongs the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station in Utah in 2005 and 2006.  

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"We often say how much we owe to those who paved the way, and that doesn't just mean in spaceflight. It also means those who worked for civil rights and inclusion,” added Koch. An all - woman Mars analog crew just ' returned to Earth ' in Hawaii .

All of their communications with the outside world were subjected to a 20-minute delay — the time it takes for signals to get from Mars to Earth . The project is the fifth in a series of six NASA-funded studies at the University of Hawaii facility called the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation

a large white building with a mountain in the background: The first all-woman crew of the HI-SEAS mock Mars habitat poses for a group photo after completing Sensoria I, a two-week space mission simulation. (Image credit: HI-SEAS/Sensoria 1) © Provided by Space The first all-woman crew of the HI-SEAS mock Mars habitat poses for a group photo after completing Sensoria I, a two-week space mission simulation. (Image credit: HI-SEAS/Sensoria 1)

Leaving "Mars"

Exiting the HI-SEAS habitat after two weeks on "Mars," was "a bit surreal, actually," Hastings told Space.com after completing the mission. “Though we'd barely gone 100 kilometers away from where we are right now, it feels like a completely different world."

The successful completion of the first Sensoria mission will help inform the future of the program and future Sensoria missions, Hastings said. 

"What I find extraordinary is, as opposed to maybe a group of individuals who come in to endure two weeks together and move on, we've grown that much closer, which to me gives strength to the rationale behind the Sensoria program to really bring incredibly talented, intelligent, extraordinary professionals in the space sector together to form even grander plans together," she added.

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Heinicke did just return from Mars , on Aug. 28, along with her five crewmates, and all of Strictly speaking, the three- woman , three-man crew did not actually go to Mars , but you wouldn’t know For that reason, the Mauna Loa facility, known as HI-SEAS — for Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and

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A main aim of the program is to connect and uplift women in the space sector to create and support their professional development. As Hastings explained to Space.com, the mission wasn’t just an opportunity for these six researchers to accomplish important research tasks, it also enabled them to connect and "leave with grander visions of how to work together and really transform the space sector."

"Martian research"

For the past two weeks, these six researchers (Hastings, Erin Bonilla, Adriana Blachowicz, Makiah Eustice, Sian Proctor and Maraia Hoffman) have been swabbing “Martian” surfaces and performing genetic sequencing on-site, fermenting foods, exploring new technologies, illustrating, developing new non-verbal methods of communication, working on sustainable hydrogels, exploring what critical self-reflection means in a space analog environment and so much more.

The six researchers come from a variety of backgrounds. They both brought a wide range of different research projects and investigations into the lab and worked together on each other’s studies, helping each other to swab different surfaces, test out "Martian foods" and more.

 Sensoria in the future 

The Sensoria project, in addition to explicitly including and supporting women with these analog missions, also aims to include and lift up young women through educational programs and collaborations. 

Sensoria has partnered with Sally Ride Science, an education nonprofit that works to support young women in science, and a group of undergraduate women who communicated with the Sensoria I crew from the commercial space company Blue Origin.

Immediately following the Sensoria I crew's exit from the habitat, a new crew of researchers from the European Space Agency entered the habitat for a new analog mission.

The Moon Will Make Mars Disappear Next Week .
Take a break from your regularly scheduled stargazing to watch the moon swallow Mars on Tuesday morning.The moon covers Mars relatively often—according to Sky & Telescope, it will happen five times this year alone—but we don’t always get to see it from Earth. Next week, however, residents of North America can look up to see what’s called a lunar occultation in action. The moon's orbit will bring it between Earth and Mars, allowing the moon to "swallow" the Red Planet over the course of 14 seconds. Mars will stay hidden for just under 90 minutes, and then reemerge from behind the moon.

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