A trainee architect is one of six Nasa recruits who have just begun the longest isolation experience ever attempted, in an attempt to simulate what life would be like on Mars.
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Tristan Bassingthwaighte, a doctor of architecture candidate at the University of Hawaii Manoa, is living in an 11m-diameter dome in Hawaii for an entire year. He is joined by three other Americans – a pilot, a journalist and a soil scientist – plus a French astrobiologist and a German physicist.
The six, who retreated from the outside world a fortnight ago, will live on rations such as powdered cheese and tinned tuna, and will only be able to venture outside wearing a spacesuit.
Bassingthwaighte does seem to have the right credentials. According to his LinkedIn page, his doctorate thesis involves designing a next generation conceptual Mars habitat.