media page 2 - Dave's Blog


4 people are living in an isolated habitat for 30 days. Why? Science!

2016 Feb 1, 3:27


This 30 day mission will help our researchers learn how isolation and close quarters affect individual and group behavior. This study at our Johnson Space Center prepares us for long duration space missions, like a trip to an asteroid or even to Mars.


The Human Research Exploration Analog (HERA) that the crew members will be living in is one compact, science-making house. But unlike in a normal house, these inhabitants won’t go outside for 30 days. Their communication with the rest of planet Earth will also be very limited, and they won’t have any access to internet. So no checking social media kids!

The only people they will talk with regularly are mission control and each other.


The crew member selection process is based on a number of criteria, including the same criteria for astronaut selection.

What will they be doing?

Because this mission simulates a 715-day journey to a Near-Earth asteroid, the four crew members will complete activities similar to what would happen during an outbound transit, on location at the asteroid, and the return transit phases of a mission (just in a bit of an accelerated timeframe). This simulation means that even when communicating with mission control, there will be a delay on all communications ranging from 1 to 10 minutes each way. The crew will also perform virtual spacewalk missions once they reach their destination, where they will inspect the asteroid and collect samples from it. 

A few other details:

  • The crew follows a timeline that is similar to one used for the ISS crew.
  • They work 16 hours a day, Monday through Friday. This includes time for daily planning, conferences, meals and exercises.  
  • They will be growing and taking care of plants and brine shrimp, which they will analyze and document.

But beware! While we do all we can to avoid crises during missions, crews need to be able to respond in the event of an emergency. The HERA crew will conduct a couple of emergency scenario simulations, including one that will require them to maneuver through a debris field during the Earth-bound phase of the mission. 


Throughout the mission, researchers will gather information about cohabitation, teamwork, team cohesion, mood, performance and overall well-being. The crew members will be tracked by numerous devices that each capture different types of data.


Past HERA crew members wore a sensor that recorded heart rate, distance, motion and sound intensity. When crew members were working together, the sensor would also record their proximity as well, helping investigators learn about team cohesion.

Researchers also learned about how crew members react to stress by recording and analyzing verbal interactions and by analyzing “markers” in blood and saliva samples.


In total, this mission will include 19 individual investigations across key human research elements. From psychological to physiological experiments, the crew members will help prepare us for future missions.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:


Retweet of kumailn

2016 Jan 31, 11:26

Retweet of nrrrdcore

2016 Jan 30, 8:12
These are getting really good.

Retweet of iamdevloper

2016 Jan 28, 1:03

Retweet of FxSiteCompat

2016 Jan 27, 7:44
#Firefox 46 Developer Edition is out! Non-HTTPS pages w/ login form are now marked insecure

Retweet of FakeUnicode

2016 Jan 26, 7:15

Retweet of ericlaw

2016 Jan 26, 5:09

Retweet of iainthomson

2016 Jan 25, 10:04
What computer users see in security warning boxes #enigma2016 Very, very true.

Retweet of xeni

2016 Jan 25, 1:18
UK film censors forced to watch a 2-day long movie of paint drying cc: @greatdismal …

Retweet of Crash_Games

2016 Jan 24, 10:25
I sure missed these guys.

Retweet of GundersenMarius

2016 Jan 19, 10:49
I love this diagram in the WHATWG spec. It explains it much better than words could

Retweet of azizansari

2016 Jan 18, 12:11
.@alanmyang with my favorite line at Critics' Choice:

Tweet from David_Risney

2016 Jan 17, 5:39
Previously unaware how much of a monster truck show is spent towing and repairing monster trucks.

Tweet from David_Risney

2016 Jan 17, 5:11
Guess where we were yesterday? #MonsterJam

Retweet of KernelMag

2016 Jan 16, 6:11
An oral history of A Special Thing, with @JimmyPardo & @ScottAukerman:

Retweet of codepo8

2016 Jan 12, 12:53
Chewbacca... his arms open.

Retweet of lukew

2016 Jan 6, 6:33
Web vs. native apps or why you want both (with data) …

Retweet of TipoTipos

2016 Jan 4, 12:12
Someday, someone will think deeply about the use value of social media and invent something better. It will be called RSS.

Retweet of FakeUnicode

2016 Jan 3, 10:26
I mean, look at this crap. All these full-alphabet variants "Because math!" @asrivkin @PlanetDr @lukedones @grierja

Retweet of justinkan

2016 Jan 3, 8:57
This seems like the way car ownership declines …
Older EntriesNewer Entries Creative Commons License Some rights reserved.