NASA launches a simulated mission to one of the Mars satellites

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The NASA beginning last Friday his new analog mission that will take place in a special terrestrial habitat, known as Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA, for its acronym in English), where four crew members will live and work together to simulate a space trip to one of the satellites of Mars, Phobos.

The mission, which will last 45 days Until November 15, it will take place at the Johnson Space Center in Houston (USA) where the HERA habitat is located that will house the participants and will imitate the isolation and confinement conditions, characteristic of real missions.

As the voyage progresses, the crew members will suffer communication delays with their coordinators, which could last up to 5 minutes once they arrive at Phobos. According to NASA, such delays will force the crew to communicate in a way that would minimize their impact on their activities and give them sufficient autonomy to carry out the mission.

Participants include four US nationals, including Lauren Cornell, a biomedical engineer in the US Air Force; Monique Garcia, human factors engineer at the MITER organization; Christopher Roberts, NASA project engineer; Madelyne Willis, a microbial ecologist at Montana State University – Bozeman. In addition, the NASA mission has two reserve crew members including Justin Lawrence, planetary scientist, and Pu Wang, Boeing engineering supervisor.

The analog mission marks the start of HERA’s 6th campaign, which will be followed by three additional missions to prepare humans for moon exploration, trips to the Gateway lunar orbital platform and long-duration missions to Mars.

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