A BRITISH engineer who spent 365 days simulating what it would be like to live on Mars has told of how PG Tips and Jammie Dodgers helped stave off boredom.
Andrzej Stewart, 34, lived with five others in an isolated space dome, with the team conducting the isolation experiment to prepare for a future mission to Mars.
Andrzej Stewart lived in a simulated Mars for 365 days
The group lived in a dome for a year to simulate what it would be like on a mission to Mars
The group learnt how to live in isolation and improve power systems
Mars simulation ends after a year’s isolation with limited resources for 6 crew
Stewart, who is originally from Banbury, Oxfordshire, said he managed to stay sane by drinking tea, eating Jammie Dodgers and playing guitar.
He said: “We proved it is possible to put a group of strangers together and successfully figure out problems over a long period. You had to suspend belief, but not too much. We couldn’t leave the hab without putting on a spacesuit.
“We had no contact with any other human in person for the entire year. I could only communicate with my wife via email, and that was delayed by 20 minutes to mimic the delay in communications between Earth and Mars.”
The group were not allowed to leave the hab without putting on a spacesuit
In this March 10, 2015, photo provided by the University of Hawaii at Manoa HI-SEAS Human Factors Performance Study, mission commander Martha Lenio collects a soil sample outside of the dome
He said the biggest morale-booster was when the team of six, including a pilot, doctor/journalist and a soil scientist, ate a cherry tomato for dinner instead of freeze-dried food.
In his first interview since leaving the dome, Stewart told the Mail Online that the experiment, which meant the crew were only able to access Wikipedia and a US government-run weather site, made him realise just how much time people spent watching cat videos on YouTube.
What is the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and what was its mission before Cape Canaveral explosion?
Marina bar converts disabled parking spaces into a BEER GARDEN
Tottenham finally unveil signing of Georges-Kevin Nkoudou in a £10m move from Marseille
Planet 9 could DESTROY solar system by causing devastating ‘death dance’, astronomers warn
is there life on mars?
Scientists discover oldest EVER fossils in Greenland -raising possibility of life on Mars
How to make your own body scrub and help save a bit of cash (and maybe the planet)
Stewart, who was born to a British mother and a US Air Force father, beat out thousands of other hopefuls to take part in the experiment, which was based on a barren slope of Mauna Loa in Hawaii.
The team lived inside a dome that was just 36ft in diameter and 20ft tall.
The NASA experiment is geared towards finding out how humans would be able to handle being cramped together for extended periods of time.
The group were excited to leave the dome when the experiment drew to a close
The group managed to avoid any big conflicts during the 365 days in isolation
The experiment was similar to the film The Martian which saw the main character live on Mars for months
NASA tests mega-powerful engine which will power spaceship to Mars
Stewart said that while there were no large fights, the group did have to figure out how to handle conflict.
He said the experiment, which monitored the group’s stress levels over the 365 days, would now produce several reports in the next few months.
But Stewart said the one thing that helped keep him sane over the months of isolation were the PG Tips teabags, a selection of Cadbury’s chocolate, his favourite Jammie Dodger biscuits and a Union Jack flag – as well as a pair of slippers from Tesco.
He said the first thing he ate when he left the dome was a fresh pineapple.
A real trip to Mars, which could take place as early as 2030, is likely to take two years of space travel.
The first Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) experienced involved studies about how to cook on Mars and was followed by a four month and eight month co-habitation mission.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at email@example.com or call 0207 782 4368.
from Department of Space Colonization