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Living in a Mars Colony Simulation


Nestled high on the northern slopes of Mauna Loa, the world’s most active volcano, the HI-SEAS habitat simulates life on the moon or Mars for crews who live here in isolation for up to 8 months testing the limits of interplanetary off-grid homesteading.

source.image: Kirsten Dirksen

Inside a 36-foot-diameter, 2-story dome, they have a full-kitchen/dining room, a living room/ workout space, 2 composting toilets, one urinal, one shower and 6 slivers of bedrooms, plus an engineering bay.

The solar panels and water tanks are monitored by sensor from inside to be sure nothing is over-used. If anything goes wrong with the equipment, the crew can contact “Mission Control” for help, but they need to make all fixes on their own.


Director Kato Claeys has been on multiple missions and feels life at the “hab” is second best to a trip to Mars. She gave us a full tour of their round home and we took a “moon walk” through lava fields looking for local lava tubes.