HI-SEAS Mission VI is the most international crew in study history


University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, (808) 228-8108
Director of Communications and Outreach, UH Communications
Bryan Caldwell, (409) 221-0001
Project Manager, HI-SEAS
Posted: Nov 30, -0001

The HI-SEAS habitat on Mauna Loa.
The HI-SEAS habitat on Mauna Loa.

Now in its sixth year, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) is set to begin its next mission with the most international crew in the history of the research project.

The four astronaut-like Mission VI crewmembers hail from Australia, Korea, Scotland and Slovakia. At approximately 5 p.m. Hawaiʻi Standard Time (HST) on Thursday, February 15, they will enter a geodesic dome habitat atop Mauna Loa on the island of Hawai‘i as part of an eight-month research study of human behavior and performance. The NASA-funded project aims to help determine the individual and team requirements for long-duration space exploration missions, including travel to Mars.

Sukjin Han is an assistant professor in economics at University of Texas at Austin.

Calum Hervieu is astrophysicist and systems engineer from rural Scotland.

Lisa Stojanovski is a professional science communicator, who manages the Australian chapter of the Space Generation Advisory Council.

Michaela Musilova is an astrobiologist with a research focus on life in extreme environments. 

Meet the HI-SEAS Mission VI crew: https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2018/02/12/hi-seas-mission-vi-most-international-in-study-history/

The crew started nine days of briefings and training on Wednesday, February 7, joined by scientific researchers and mission support to prepare for HI-SEAS Mission VI.  

HI-SEAS Principal Investigator and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor, Kim Binsted is excited about the international diversity of Mission VI and the role HI-SEAS plays in understanding human behavior and performance in space.

“This is the first time we’ve selected a crew that includes members from four different countries of origin. As HI-SEAS is an international collaboration between researchers, mission support and crew, it is great to see this diversity reflected in the Mission VI crew,” said Binsted.“For humans to successfully undertake a long-duration spaceflight to Mars, it will require a global collaboration, and so it seems appropriate that our Mission VI begins with this spirit of internationalism.”

During the eight-month mission the crew will perform exploration tasks such as geological fieldwork and life systems management. The mission is conducted under isolated and confined  conditions designed to be similar to those of a planetary surface exploration mission. For example, all communications are delayed by 20 minutes in each direction to simulate the time it takes a message to travel between Earth and Mars. Daily routines include food preparation from only shelf-stable ingredients, exercise, research and field work aligned with NASA’s planetary exploration expectations.

Under the watchful eye of the research team and supported by experienced mission control, the crew will participate in multiple primary and opportunistic research studies. The primary research is conducted by scientists from across the United States who are at the forefront of their fields.

The primary behavioral research includes a shared social behavioral task for team building, continuous monitoring of face-to-face interactions with sociometric badges, a virtual reality team-based collaborative exercise to predict individual and team behavioral health and performance and multiple stress and cognitive countermeasure and monitoring studies.                           

HI-SEAS Mission VI continues a series of successful 8-month and 12-month missions that place HI-SEAS in the company of a small group of analogs capable of operating very long duration missions in isolated and confined environments such as Mars500, Concordia and the International Space Station.


HI-SEAS Mission VI media kit available for download at:  http://hi-seas.org/?p=4353

Media interested in covering the crew entering the habitat on February 15, 2018 should contact HI-SEAS Project Manager Bryan Caldwell, bryan@xclassmanagement.com

A video news release of the HI-SEAS VI crew entrance will be distributed shortly after the mission begins.  Contact Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, University of Hawai‘i, kellit2@hawaii.edu.

VIDEO NEWS RELEASES OF HI-SEAS MIssion V exit and pre-exit:

HI-SEAS V exit September 17, 2017

Link to video and sound (details below): http://bit.ly/2xRtcCO

Fifth University of Hawai‘i HI-SEAS simulated Mars mission is in the books

What:  After eight months of isolation in a geodesic dome on the slopes of Mauna Loa, six Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) crew members felt the sun and wind on their faces and ate fresh tropical papaya, pineapple and bananas with friends and family.

When:  Sunday, September 15, 2017 at 9 a.m. HST  (The crew exited at 9:04 a.m. HST)

Who:  HI-SEAS Principal Investigator is University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Professor Kim Binsted.  T

Where:  The HI-SEAS habitat on Mars-like lower flank of Mauna Loa on Hawai‘i Island (8,200 feet above seal level).  

Why:  The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa research project, funded by NASA, will help with the selection of crews for future long-duration space missions, such as a mission to Mars.

How:  It’s been a memorable experience for the Mission V crew for a variety of reasons, including having to live with a communications delay, eating mostly shelf-stable foods and having to wear “space suits” outside of the habitat.

Mission V research entailed continuous monitoring of face-to-face interactions with sociometric badges, virtual reality team-based exercises to predict individual and team behavioral health and performance, and multiple stress and monitoring studies.  

Links to HI-SEAS V photos:

Exit on September 17, 2017: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uhawaii/albums/72157686784130374

Mid way point May 2017: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uhawaii/albums/72157682024224650

Entrance on January 19, 2017 and crew headshots: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uhawaii/albums/72157677141586901

B-roll: 1:30

4 shots countdown, exit and hugging (natural sound)

2 shots eating fresh food

4 shots crew mingling outside habitat

1 shot of vegetables growing in habitat


Kim Binsted, HI-SEAS Principal Investigator, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (:11)

The University of Hawai‘i is going to be giving NASA essential information about how you pick individual astronauts and how you put them together in a crew, but also, how you support them over these long duration missions.

Binsted (:12)

I think we are really excited at the University of Hawai‘i to be continuing humanityʻs tradition of voyaging.  Everything from Polynesian voyaging to going to the stars and we’re really proud to be a part of that.

Joshua Ehrlich, Mission Specialist of Biology, HI-SEAS V (on growing fresh vegetables in the habitat) (:17)

“Carrots, peppers, pak choy. Chinese cabbage, mustard greens, radishes, tomatoes, potatoes tons of parsley and oregano, I mean it was phenomenal, just that delicious fresh taste from home really was good.”

Samuel Payler, Science Officer, HI-SEAS V (:11)

“Itʻs really gratifying to know that the knowledge gained here from our mission and the other missions that HI-SEAS has done will contribute to the future exploration of Mars and the future exploration of Space in general.”

Brian Ramos, Health and Performance Officer, HI-SEAS V(:12)

“One of the things I missed from home was Portuguese cooking because my parents and family are from the Azores, so we made some malasadas.  We made some calde verde, which is kale soup.”

Pre-exit video news release:  Mars simulation crew to exit Mauna Loa habitat on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Link to video and sound:http://bit.ly/2fjfWMh

Who: Six crew members of the fifth Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation or HI-SEAS Mission V.

What: The crew will exit the habitat on Mauna Loa where they have lived for the last 8 months. The crew will eat some foods that have been unavailable in the habitat and will conduct a short press conference, and individual interviews. This University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa research project is funded by NASA.

When: 9 a.m. on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Where: HI-SEAS habitat on Mauna Loa

How:   Following the exit on September 17, University of Hawai‘i News will issue a video news release containing links to b-roll of the exit and soundbites with the principal investigator and crew.   Please contact Kelli Abe Trifonovitch if you would like to receive the video news release and include name, organization and email address.

Read more UH News stories about HI-SEAS missions: https://www.hawaii.edu/news/tag/hi-seas/

Video (Please credit the University of Hawai‘i and HI-SEAS Mission V crew):

B-roll (TRT 2 minutes 30 seconds)

0:00-0:38 4 clips: aerial drone footage of habitat

0:38-1:08 6 clips: crew members doing experiments in the habitat

1:08-1:14 1 clip: exercising

1:14-1:20 1 clip: feeding the fish

1:20-1:40 4 clips: cooking in the kitchen

1:40-1:52 2 clips: crew eating at the table

1:52-2:30 6 clips: outdoor shots of the crew working


Laura Lark, IT specialist, HI-SEAS V (20 seconds)

“Long term space travel is absolutely possible. There are certainly technical challenges to be overcome. There are certainly human factors to be figured out, that’s part of what HI-SEAS is for. But I think that overcoming those challenges is just a matter of effort. We are absolutely capable of it.”

Brian Ramos, health and performance officer, HI-SEAS V (14 seconds)

“My advice to mission six is say, ‘Yes.’ If you have an opportunity whether it’s filming or learning a new science skill or flying the drone, going out to a lava tube, whatever it is, say, ‘Yes.’ Take leadership on things. Honestly you can come out of here in eight months learning a ton of stuff.”

Ansley Barnard, engineering officer, HI-SEAS V (12 seconds)

“Remember that the toilet systems are also a system and they’re a living system. So stay in balance with those, let them talk to you if they smell a certain way or act a certain way they’re trying to tell you something, so listen.”

Barnard (17 seconds)

“As the crew engineer, Iʻve had a lot of time to get to know the habitat. We have mostly a loving relationship, but there are times where you can get frustrated.  So my advice for the next crew is to stay patient and remember that even though the habitat can kind of take care of itself, that you are a steward for it.”