Man at His Best

5 People Just Returned To Earth After Spending 365 Days On "Mars"

By Mars, we mean a 1,200-square-foot dome on a Hawaiian volcano

BY SARAH RENSE | Aug 31, 2016 | Fitness & Health

It's been a minute since The Martian came out and reminded us all that space is terrifying. Still, The Martian is the only Mars movie we have that gave a broad audience any idea what it would take to survive on the planet for an extended period of time.

Back home, in real life, five people also tried to survive life in Mars-like conditions for an extended period of time. On purpose, too. As part of NASA's HI-SEAS program, five volunteers with "astronaut-like" qualities lived in a 1,200-square-foot dome on a Hawaiian volcano for 365 days in complete isolation. It was the longest test of this type run. They were released Sunday, according to NPR.

The objective of the extended stay was to test "team performance and cohesion"—can five strangers live in an enclosed space together for a year without killing each other? The good news is they can. The bad news is that it's really, really dull.

"One of your biggest enemies is boredom," said German physicist Christiane Heinicke, one of the five team members, after their release. "The other big enemies, of course, are the rest of the crew.”

Though the team didn't face any extreme situations like those in The Martian, they dealt with a water shortage, slow Internet and messaging time, and of course, isolation from Earth comforts. Heinicke said that despite tense feelings among the crew, emergency situations brought them together to problem solve. So, no matter how bored or hissy you are, you can still survive a year on Mars without going insane, just as long as you have the technology to back you up.

Once released, one crew member hugged people she hadn't seen for a year. Another ate a pizza. Wonder if any of the five have gotten around to seeing The Martian yet.

From: Esquire US.