Sending astronauts to visit the Martian surface is a big deal, and we need to make sure we're prepared before moving forward with such an immense goal. One of the ways we can do that is by studying our performance in simulated Martian environments before moving forward to the real thing.
The Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) mission did just that. Participants were closed inside of a habitation module in the middle of nowhere for eight months, and they pretended to live just as they would if they were actually left to their own devices on Mars.
Among the things inhabitants needed to do was provide their own food, keep the living space clean, and get along with fellow roommates. Participants even dressed up in special hazmat suits before venturing outside of the habitation module.
As HI-SEAS participant Joshua Ehrlich points out, there's more to the experiment than meets the eye. It taught him valuable lessons that apply to various aspects of life. Communicating with others and getting along despite differences are just some examples of skills he picked up along the way.