Can people live on Mars

Experiment in Hawaii How life works on Mars

One day people will be able to live on Mars. However, it will not only depend on the optimal supply system, perfect thermal control or the right radiation protection. Whether the long-term stay on Mars will be a success depends on the team. That is one of the most important insights that Christiane Heinicke has gained. The geophysicist from Bitterfeld lived for a year in a simulated Mars base in Hawaii: "For Mars: I have to create the physical conditions. But I also have to choose people so that they are adaptable and team players. That sounds like something these job advertisements 08/15. No, they really have to [be a team player]. The team has to come first. "

Six people in a small space

The team in the simulated Mars base consisted of six members. They lived together in a white, two-story dome with a diameter of eleven meters. They were only allowed to leave the base in a fake space suit. There was only sporadic external contact, mostly by email. In addition, various experiments were carried out, for example to extract water from lava rock. But that was only part of life on simulated Mars, explains Heinicke: "A lot of our work was very simple household chores. Really like in the flat share: washing dishes, cleaning, cleaning up after people or saying: Hey, put your stuff away. Me I mean, it's a work environment, but it's home at the same time and you have to combine that. "

Challenge interpersonal interaction

Yes, life on Mars is not all adventurous either. Or just: different from what one would generally expect. Because the interpersonal interaction was the greatest challenge of the whole experiment, says the geophysicist: "This mutual give and take, this mutual consideration and just always know: If I don't care and do nothing for the crew, then they will too Crew do nothing for me. That would just cause the team to fall apart and quarrel before the end of the mission is reached. "

"Locked Up" Conflicts

Especially since even minor conflicts are much more stressful than normal due to the isolation and being "locked up". For Heinicke, the group factor is so crucial that she would even forego a trip to Mars if only one person were not a real team player: "Keyword mutiny on ship journeys. Keyword polar expeditions. Not every polar traveler who has not returned is due Or, more recently, people who have hibernated in the Antarctic, and stories about where assaults have occurred because - viewed from the outside, these are totally banal occasions, but if you are in this situation is, over months and with the people and always the same pinpricks - at some point you explode there. "

A situation that nobody wants to experience on Mars - 50 to 70 million kilometers away from Earth. It takes at least six months to return to earth from there after a dispute, but only if the planets are favorable to one another. Otherwise it will take even longer. Then better: do the dishes.