Getting ready to stay on Mars, a six member team from NASA is going to stay for eight months is a dome-shaped building on a Hawaiian volcano. The project is part of a study financed by NASA. The project is called Hi-Seas (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation). It is aimed at finding out if a small group of people can work and live together for a long time, isolated from civilization, according to dumb-out.net.
It is expected that when astronauts take the trip to Mars, they will need to spend at least 6 months in travel to the planet and six months traveling back home. Apart from that, they will spend about 500 days on the red planet.
Kimberley Binstead, professor of information and computer sciences, University of Hawaii, Manoa, and principal investigator of the project, says that psychological risks with such a mission are not completely comprehended and corrected for. She also said that NASA will not undertake a manned mission to Mars unless this bit is solved. She is not inside the dome, which offers about 1500 sq feet of space
Several mock missions to Mars have been carried out of late. Russia carried out simulations in 2010 and 2011 for more than 500 days, which is the expected duration of the mission. During the simulation, it was observed that four of the six volunteers developed sleep disorders and also became less productive with the progress of the experiment.
Though NASA does not plan a manned mission to Mars before 2030, these experiments are crucial for selection of astronauts so that they stay healthy and perform well during the mission which might last two to three years. It is known that isolation can be the cause of depression and there can be conflicts of personality between people on board.