Six scientists have embarked on an eight-month Mars mission... except they won't ever be stepping foot off of this planet. In actuality, they will be living together in a 1500-square-foot geodesic dome on Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano (about as Mars-like as you can get here on Earth) as a simulation for living conditions on an actual mission to Mars. It is all for the Nasa-funded Hawai'i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) program.
In addition to testing the systems that will be necessary to sustain human life on such a mission, such as solar power generation, food cultivation, and water recycling, the crew members will also experience the logistical contingencies of life on Mars, including a 40-minute delay in round-trip communications with the outside world and the uncharted psychological consequences of living with five other crew members in such conditions. The six members were selected from an application pool of 150, and represent a mix of essential scientific disciplines and
And, according to the New York Times: "For their time, each is receiving round-trip airfare to Hawaii, a $11,500 stipend, food and, of course, lodging."