Back from Mars . . . Sort of. | God's World News
Back from Mars . . . Sort Of
News Shorts
Posted: July 09, 2024
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    Kelly Haston speaks at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on  July 6, 2024. Behind her are the other crew members: Ross Brockwell, Nathan Jones, and Anca Selariu. (NASA via AP)
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    The crew members shake hands with Kjell Lindgren, NASA’s Deputy Director, Flight Operations. (NASA via AP)
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Four volunteer crew members spent more than a year inside NASA’s first simulated Mars environment. Now they’re back from Mars . . . sort of.

And sort of not. Simulated is a fancy word for “pretend.” The crew members never left Earth. They were in Houston, Texas, the whole time. They just pretended they were on Mars!

Kelly Haston, Anca Selariu, Ross Brockwell, and Nathan Jones entered the 3-D printed habitat on June 25, 2023. The four stepped out of the fake environment on Saturday around 5:00 p.m. Commander Haston is the mission leader. When the group came out, she began with a simple, “Hello.” 

Commander Haston said, “It’s actually just so wonderful to be able to say ‘hello’ to you all.”

Nathan Jones is a doctor. He says the 378 days “went by quickly.”

The four lived and worked inside a 1,700 square-foot space. That’s around the size of a medium house. The crew did pretend “Marswalks.” They grew and harvested vegetables for food. They took care of their habitat and equipment. 

Does that sound fun? It came with challenges too. The team was isolated from everyone outside the habitat, just like the group would be on Mars. They could call home. But each call had a long delay, just as it would if the call had really come from Mars. 

The experiment will help scientists answer some questions: Can people live well on Mars? Can they get along in a small space for a long time? What kinds of food should they take on their journey, and how much? Will their diet affect how well they work in space?

Steve Koerner works at Johnson Space Center. He says, “They’ve been separated from their families, placed on a carefully prescribed meal plan, and undergone a lot of observation.” 

After coming out, the four volunteers said they were thankful for each other—and for the people who waited patiently for them outside. 

Why go to Mars at all? People ask science officer Anca Selariu this often. She answers, “Because it’s possible.” 

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! — Psalm 133:1