The question of how people can live and work together on a mission to Mars may turn out to be one of the biggest challenges of deep-space exploration. To simulate the experience of a crew stuck inside cramped quarters under stressful conditions, a nonprofit is planning a one-year mock Mars mission in the Arctic.
The mission, to begin in July 2014, is being planned by the Mars Society, an organization dedicated to manned exploration of the Red Planet. Six crew members will spend a full year living inside the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), a 25-foot-tall , 27-foot-wide cylindrical habitat on Devon Island in the high-latitude Canadian Arctic.
The crew will spend their time conducting field geology—in space suits, of course—and other science research, and performing maintenance on their equipment and habitat.
If given the opportunity, would you spend a year of your life to explore Mars?