UH Scientists Still Need Volunteers to Develop Mars Trip Food

February 23, 2012

Scientists from the University of Hawai and Cornell say they are still seeking volunteers for a food study that will help develop foods that astronauts may eat on a mission to Mars.   Volunteers will spend four month in a Mars-like simulation on Hawaii Island in 2013, eating and testing foods that might be suitable for very long missions.     Hawaii Island’s terrain can be Mars-like.  Participants will live in conditions similar to what the astronauts will experience.

UH Information and Computer Sciences professor Dr. Kim Binsted is  partnering with NASA  to study space food and its importance to astronauts.   Astronauts on moon missions and in the space station tend to lose weight, and the goal is to find food that would be more sustaining for longer space trips.    Applications are due by February 29.  Learn more at the original article, and learn where to learn more.

Original article printed Janary 29, 2012:


Cornell and the University of Hawaii are partnering on a study that is aimed at developing foods that astronauts may eat on a mission to Mars–and they’re looking for volunteers to help develop that food.   The study will be conducted on Hawaii Island in early 2013.

The team is looking for six primary and two alternate crew members.  They’ll take part in a four-day workshop at Cornell University in the summer of 2012 where crew members will learn in more detail about the four-month study.  They’ll also take part in a two-week training in late 2012 to simulate the study, which will include living and working together in a small, isolated habitat such as astronauts would experience on Mars.   The two-week training would include limited communication with the outside world, consumption of foods such as would be included in such an environment, and learning to deal with sanitation as would be available in such a mission.

The simulated Mars mission in 2013 would be four months long, during which time the study participants would live in the simulated Mars environment.

Participants must have a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological or physical sciences, mathematics, or computer sciences, have three years experience in working or graduate school beyond the Bachelor’s Degree,  ability to pass a Class 2 flight physical examination,  good health, be tobacco-free for at least 24 months, and fluency in written and verbal English, among other requirements.

Applications are due no later than February 29.   Those selected will be reimbursed for expenses for the trainings plus $25 a day for time spent in the habitat.    More detailed information about the study and the application information is online at http://manoa.hawaii.edu/hi-seas


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