From Scientific American:
At about 9 a.m. HDT (3 p.m. EDT, 1900 GMT), on the barren slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano, the six crewmembers emerged from the domed white habitat they’ve called home for the last 12 months. The crew had no physical contact with anyone but each other, and had limited communication with friends, family and the outside world.
How did the crew feel upon their release? Christiane Heinicke, chief scientific officer and crew physicist, summed it up in one word: “Happyyyyy!” [HI-SEAS One-Year Crew Comes Back to Earth (Gallery)]
This is the fourth and longest isolation mission by the HI-SEAS program (which stands for Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation), run by the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and funded by NASA.
The crew exited the domed habitat for the first time in 12 months without wearing spacesuits, and were greeted by family, friends, the mission scientists and team members who supported them through the year, and members of the media.
“There’s no place like Earth. It is a little bit like the tornado returning to Kansas,” said Sheyna E. Gifford, chief medical and safety officer and crew journalist. “All of a sudden, I click my heels three times and stepped several inches, and 100 million miles later [I’m back on Earth].”
Andrzej Stewart, chief engineering officer, said he felt “mixed emotions” about leaving the habitat.
“I’m a military brat, I grew up with my dad in the Air Force, and where you live becomes home after a while, and I’m going to miss the place,” he said.
The HI-SEAS isolation missions (there have been four) are meant to simulate what life might be like for people living on the surface of Mars or another planet other than Earth. The participants can only eat food that can be stored for years at a time, …