Six scientists have spent 365 days in the geodesic dome installed in the Mars-like environment of 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) above sea level. Artificial habitat was located on the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii.
Experiment, the longest of its kind ever conducted, was designed to test the cohesion of the crew and performance in isolation. It is an important part of any real Mars mission, the journey to the red planet will last for more than six months before the start of any surface missions, and the astronauts have to spend long periods of time together in a confined space.
"The study is just super vital when it comes to selecting crews who need to figure out how people work at different types of missions, as well as a kind of human factor element of space travel, colonization", the statement said.
"We are proud that NASA helps to reduce or eliminate barriers to the development of long-term space travel," said Professor Kim Binsted, lead researcher of the project.
Interest in Mars is at its highest level in recent years, thanks largely to the success of the book and movie "the Martian," and the interest private entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, who hopes to launch a manned mission to the planet in 2024.
Previous missions lasted four and eight months respectively. A similar experiment was also performed by the European space Agency at Concordia, Antarctica and Moscow, where members of the crew warned about the sleep and psychological problems.
Crew member Christian Heineke said she was amazed she could take water from "small greenhouse design" in their simulated environment. She said that the success of this experiment suggested that a similar method can be used to get water on Mars, which is famous for the fact that it is completely dry.
The University of Hawaii is currently recruiting crew members to participate in the two upcoming missions planned for 2017 and 2018.
sections: Society, World News