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space

NASA is preparing for a Mars mission by locking people inside a cramped dome

Six people are going to spend the next year of their lives locked inside a tiny dome — for science. The isolation experiment, which started Friday, is NASA's latest and longest attempt at evaluating what interpersonal conflicts would be like during a trip to Mars, which is expected to take one to three years.

Based in Hawaii near a barren volcano, the team will live in isolation together with almost no privacy, Engadget reports. They'll survive in cramped living quarters on basic foods — we're talking canned tuna and powdered cheese.

So, who are these brave souls voluntarily participating in the worst possible Hawaiian vacation? A French astrobiologist, a German physicist, and an American pilot, soil scientist, architect, and a journalist. Technically, team members are allowed to leave the dome on occasion, but not without donning spacesuits first.