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HI-SEAS: Mars food researchers wrap up 4-month mission

Study provides new insights to address 'menu fatigue' and keep astronauts well-nourished

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Contact:
Talia S. Ogliore, (808) 956-4531
Public Information Officer, Vice Chancellor for Research
John Carberry or Melissa Osgood, (607) 255-6074
Media Relations Office, Cornell University
Posted: Aug 13, 2013

Crew member Oleg Abramov outside the HI-SEAS habitat (photo by Angelo Vermeulen)
Crew member Oleg Abramov outside the HI-SEAS habitat (photo by Angelo Vermeulen)

LINK FOR VIDEO AND SOUND (more information available below): 
http://bit.ly/15BlSAN

After almost four months in isolation, six researchers who have been living inside a remote habitat to simulate a long-duration space journey emerged to bright blue skies on the morning of August 13.

The Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) food study is designed to simulate the living and working experience of astronauts on a real planetary mission and to compare two types of food systems—crew-cooked vs. pre-prepared—as thoroughly as possible in the context of a four-month Mars analog mission.

"You definitely need the ability to express yourself, take away some of that boredom and menu fatigue, but you also want some of the efficiency that comes along with those days that you are really busy and you just want to make something quick," said crew member Sian Proctor, one of the six researchers, about the food study.

As the mission comes to its close, the researchers also announced the winners of the HI-SEAS recipe contest, selected from a list of recipes submitted by members of the public.  The winning recipes include: No-crust Quiche Muffins (breakfast); Moroccan Beef Tangine (soup/stew); Lemon-Dill Pasta Salad (side dish); Spam Fried Rice (main dish); and Dark Matter Cake (snack or dessert).  Recipes are available on the HI-SEAS website at: http://hi-seas.org/?p=2204.

The HI-SEAS 2013 Mission is led by Jean Hunter of Cornell University and Kim Binsted of University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and is funded by a grant from the NASA Human Research Program.

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VIDEO and SOUNDBITES (from August 13 exit from the habitat):

Video (2 minutes):

  • Habitat (3 shots)
  • Researchers exiting habitat (6 shots)
  • Researchers eating fresh food (6)
  • Inside of habitat (10)

Soundbites:

Kimberly Binsted - HI-SEAS principal investigator (11 seconds)
"Crew cohesion, that very question, how to keep astronauts sane and happy and productive on a long-duration mission is a real risk and we are going to go a long way toward solving that."

Binsted (11 seconds)
"We’ve got all sorts of researchers knocking at our door to come and have their projects be run at this site so yes it is a wonderful opportunity for the state and the university."

Sian Proctor - HI-SEAS Researcher (13 seconds)
"You definitely need the ability to express yourself, take away some of that boredom and menu fatigue, but you also want some of the efficiency that comes along with those days that you are really busy and you just want to make something quick."

Angelo Vermeulen - HI-SEAS Researcher (16 seconds)
"I really think we proved that by offering people shelf stable ingredients and the possibility to cook meals with that, that is a really good strategy to keep people enthusiastic about the food they eat. But on the other hand the data still has to be analyzed."

Vermeulen (14 seconds)
"Based on this study we’ll be able to offer a strategy that optimizes everything and is a good balance between, on the one hand, not wasting too much time preparing your food and wasting too many resources but on the other hand, keeping your crew fit and healthy."

Proctor (7 seconds)
"I am loving the feeling the breeze against me. Even the warmth of the sun on my face, it’s just, that’s nice."

PHOTOS AVAILABLE (from HI-SEAS 2013 Mission - various dates, please note photographer credits):  http://www.flickr.com/photos/uhmanoa/sets/72157635053117526

OLDER B-ROLL (from HI-SEAS 2013 Mission - various dates):  http://bit.ly/14pJ9pc

For more information, visit: http://hi-seas.org/