On Aug. 28, 2016, after 365 days, the longest mission in project history, six crew members exited from their Mars simulation habitat on slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island. Photo courtesy of UH

On Aug. 28, 2016, after 365 days, the longest mission in project history, six crew members exited from their Mars simulation habitat on slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island. Photo courtesy of UH

After 365 days, the longest mission in project history, and amidst a throng of media from around the world, six crewmembers exited from their Mars simulation habitat on slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island on Aug. 28, as reported by the University of Hawai‘i.

The crew lived in isolation in a geodesic dome set in a Mars-like environment at approximately 8,200 feet above sea level as part of UH Mānoa’s fourth Hawaiʻi Space Eploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS, project.

“HI-SEAS is an example of international collaborative research hosted and run by the University of Hawaiʻi,” said UH Mānoa Professor Kim Binsted, HI-SEAS’ principal investigator. “Its really exciting to be able to welcome the crew back to Earth and back to Hawaiʻi after a year on Mars.”

Like the previous two missions, research over the past year focused on crewmember cohesion and performance.

“The UH research going on up here is just super vital when it comes to picking crews, figuring out how people are going to actually work on different kinds of missions, and sort of the human factors element of space travel, colonization, whatever it is you are actually looking at,” said Tristan Bassingthwaighte, a doctor of architecture candidate at UH Mānoa. Bassingthwaighte served as the crew’s architect.

“We’re proud to be helping NASA reduce or remove the barriers to long-duration space exploration,” said Binsted.