Six scientists have completed a yearlong Mars simulation in Hawaii, where they lived in a dome on a Mauna Loa mountain in near isolation and could go outside only while wearing spacesuits. On Sunday, the simulation ended, and the scientists emerged, the AP reports. Kim Binsted, principal investigator for the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS), says the researchers are looking forward to getting in the ocean and eating fresh produce and other foods that weren't available in the dome. "I think they will enjoy having a beer as well," Binsted told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald last week.
Binsted says the simulation was the second-longest of its kind after a mission that lasted 520 days in Russia, and the fourth HI-SEAS mission. Space.com reports that when communication with the outside world did occur, there was a 20-minute delay reflective of the true communication delay between Earth and Mars. (Read more Mars stories.)