NASA Study in Hawaii Paving Way for Human Travel to Mars

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first_imgLucie Poulet, right, uses a geotechnical tool while Annie Caraccio records the data during a previous study outside the domed structure that will house six researchers for eight months in an environment meant to simulate an expedition to Mars, on Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii on May 23, 2014. (Ross Lockwood/University of Hawaii via AP) Share this article Share US HONOLULU—A group of NASA-funded researchers are poised to enter an isolated geodesic dome on a remote Hawaii volcano to study human behavior in long-term space exploration, including a planned voyage to Mars.The six scientists enter their new home Thursday on the Big Island’s Mauna Loa volcano for an eight-month stay.The team will have no physical contact with people in the outside world and will work with a 20-minute delay in communications, the time it would take for an email to reach Earth from Mars.The study will assess the psychological difficulties associated with living in isolated and confined conditions for an extended time.The project is designed to help the U.S. space agency send humans on long space voyages including to Mars by the 2030s.“We’re hoping to figure out how best to select individual astronauts, how to compose a crew and how to support that crew on long-duration space missions,” principal investigator Kim Binstead, a University of Hawaii science professor. She said NASA’s timeline is realistic unless the agency is “directed to do something different by the new administration.”Trump’s transition team did not respond to an emailed request for comment on NASA’s plan.Domed structure that will house six researchers for eight months in an environment meant to simulate an expedition to Mars, on Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii on April 25, 2013. (Sian Proctor/University of Hawaii via AP) Domed structure that will house six researchers for eight months in an environment meant to simulate an expedition to Mars, on Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii on April 25, 2013. (Sian Proctor/University of Hawaii via AP)Domed structure that will house six researchers for eight months in an environment meant to simulate an expedition to Mars, on Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii, on April 25, 2013. (Sian Proctor/University of Hawaii via AP) Domed structure that will house six researchers for eight months in an environment meant to simulate an expedition to Mars, on Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii, on April 25, 2013. (Sian Proctor/University of Hawaii via AP)Leading the crew is mission commander James Bevington, a freelance space scientist who has acted as a visiting researcher for the International Space University. The other team members include engineers, a computer scientist, a doctoral candidate and a biomedical expert.They were selected from a group of 700 applicants that went through cognitive and personality tests as well as extensive interviews.“When I started, my biggest fear was that we were going to be that crew that turned out like Biosphere 2, which wasn’t a very pretty picture,” Bevington said.Biosphere 2 was a 1990s experimental greenhouse-like habitat in Arizona. It housed different natural ecosystems and a small crew in an effort to understand what would be needed for humans to live on other planets.The experiment quickly spiraled out of control as the habitat failed to maintain safe levels of carbon dioxide and the crew grew discontent.The latest HI-SEAS mission is the third round of research funded by NASA, which has dedicated over $2 million to the Hawaii project. Previous missions focused on food requirements and crew cohesion.“Mars is one of the best places in the solar system to look for signs of past or current life,” said Binstead, adding that would be the most significant scientific discovery “of all time.”The interior of the domed structure that will house six researchers for eight months in an environment meant to simulate an expedition to Mars, on Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii, on Aug. 9, 2015. (Sian Proctor/University of Hawaii via AP) The interior of the domed structure that will house six researchers for eight months in an environment meant to simulate an expedition to Mars, on Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii, on Aug. 9, 2015. (Sian Proctor/University of Hawaii via AP)Furthermore, man-made disasters or natural catastrophes such as an asteroid hit could force a human exodus from Earth, she said. “Right now, all of our eggs for life are in one basket. I think it’s a good overall strategy for us as a species to spread out further.”The researchers will wear devices around their necks that measure their moods and proximity to other team members. They’ll also use virtual reality devices to simulate familiar and comforting surroundings they wouldn’t have access to while living on Mars.They will wear space suits whenever they leave the compound to conduct daily tasks including geological and mapping studies. The crew eats mostly freeze-dried foods that have a long shelf life. Some canned food and lightweight snacks are also brought in, including one of Hawaii’s favorites.“Spam gets quite popular,” Binstead said.This image provided by NASA shows the planet Mars. (NASA via AP) This image provided by NASA shows the planet Mars. (NASA via AP)Occasional resupply deliveries are recovered with a robot in order to maintain the crew’s isolation. The 1200-square-foot simulated space home has small sleeping quarters for each member as well as a kitchen, laboratory and bathroom.The University of Hawaii operates the facility called Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS.There are a number of other Mars simulation projects around the world, but the Hawaii project has been receiving federal funding for several years and is unique, the university says, because of its accessibility, weather and Mars-like geography, tucked away on a rocky, red plain below the summit of the world’s largest active volcano. center_img Show Discussion NASA Study in Hawaii Paving Way for Human Travel to Mars By The Associated Press January 19, 2017 Updated: January 19, 2017  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   last_img

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Phase 3 Ebola Vaccines Clinical Study Conference Opens in Conakry

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Kuwaiti Loan to Boost Greenville Port

first_imgThe Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development’s recent US$14 million loan to Liberia will help boost the physical infrastructure of the seaport of Greenville, National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director Matilda Parker has observed. The loan agreement was consummated between the government of Liberia and the Kuwaiti Fund last year, but it requires a legislative ratification before implementation in line with the Liberian constitution. According to the loan agreement, the repayment period is 22 years with a four-year grace period.Providing some details of the agreement on SKY FM Phone-in Talk Show yesterday, Madam Parker declared that the interest rate on the loan is highly concessional at 1.5 percent interest rate and 0.5 percent service fees.The NPA boss assured the public that the return on investment on the loan is 22 percent conservatively. She noted that the Kuwaiti loan is directly for the development of the port of Greenville, Sinoe County and the purchasing of tugboat for that port.“This loan could not have come at a better time,” the NPA boss added as she praised the government of Liberia for contracting the credit from the Fund, which as she put it, “will help improve the economy of the southeastern region.”The NPA Managing Director declared that part of the money will be used to build a container park, fishing ram and other infrastructure for the port to enhance increase shipping activities.She noted that as part of the agreement, the government of Liberia through the NPA has completed the design and dredging of the port of Greenville. The US$14 million Kuwaiti loan is currently before the national legislature for approval.Madam Parker, who was expected to appear before a legislative committee for public hearing yesterday, announced that that the work on Greenville Port is expected to be completed in two years if the agreement is ratified.“We will advertise an international bid for tugboat which will take few weeks,” she stated. Greenville port currently handles 14 logging concessions and two oil palm concessions namely Equatorial Oil Palm and Golden Veroleum.Majority of the callers on the talk show praised Madam Parker for her excellent managerial style, which they observed, has led to improvement and gains including improved security, good wage structure for employees and port infrastructure development at the Freeport of Monrovia and other seaports in Buchanan, Greenville and Harper.The NPA boss also assured the public that her management team is operating with plans and that the loan will not be a burden that NPA would not repay.“I pray that I have plan in place to not only repay the Kuwaiti loan, but to replace myself as Managing Director of the NPA,” she said.Madam Parker, however, admitted that implementation is a challenge everywhere in Liberia, but expressed confidence that with the port will be strong enough to repay taking clue from the level of development at the port authority.She made specific reference to the port of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, which she disclosed is handling 60 percent of Liberia’s thorough put (imports and exports).“Ports infrastructures are very expensive to build and so it is a challenging job to manage a port,” she stated. The NPA boss, who took over the NPA as Managing Director in 2009, noted that her dream is to improve Liberia’s port infrastructure in order to encourage more vessels to come to Liberia.                Meanwhile, the Kuwait Fund only extends loans on concessionary term to finance development projects in developing countries. The Fund also provides technical assistance to finance the costs of the feasibility studies of projects, as well as the training of nationals of the borrowing countries.In addition, the Fund subscribes in the capital of international and regional development institutions. 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The harbor is protected by a 400m long breakwater, and on its inner side, by two quays.  The Port of Greenville is an International Ship & Port Security (ISPS) certified Security Level Two port.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

High School Championships in Semi Finals

first_imgVictory Chapel will today take on E. Jonathan Goodridge in the first kickball encounter in the semi-finals of the National High School Soccer and Kickball Championship at the Alpha Oldtimers Sports Field in Monrovia. In the second game, Arthur F. Kulah will clash with Nathan E. Gibson.At the same venue, in soccer AGM will take on St. Simon in the first game and the second game will see World Wide Mission going against Nathan E. Gibson.The 2017 tournament is organized under the auspices of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and by the Veteran Sports Committee.The tournament comprised 480 teams (240 soccer teams and 240 kickball teams), and started in April and is expected to end on August 24.The objective of the tournament is to promote sports and education as an inseparable component of youth development.The following are results from Wednesday, August 2, at the Right to Play soccer pitch:Kickball: Victory Chapel 2, E. Jonathan Goodridge 0; Nathan E. Gibson 3, Amos P. Warner 1; World Wide Mission 9, Soul Clinic 8.Soccer: 1st AGM 2, Dominion 1; St. Simons 5, Richard Nixon 4 (penalties); World Wide Mission 2, Bethlehem Baptist 1.Kickball: E. Jonathan Goodridge 5, Wells-Hairston Gardnersville 3; Arthur F. Kulah 3, James Doe Young 1.Soccer: James Doe Young 4, Wells-Hairston Gardnersville 2; True Vine 2, Arthur F. Kulah 1, held at the ETMI sports pitch.Results on August 3: Kickball: Victory Chapel 6, World Wide Mission 4; Jonathan E. Goodridge 1, Nathan E. Gibson 0.Soccer: 1st AGM 1, Nathan E. Gibson 0; St. Simon 2, True Vine 0; World Wide Mission 2, James Doe Young 0.Meanwhile, the protest committee has released findings of protests filed by World Wide Mission against the Apostolic Foundation.The committee said World Wide Mission filed a protest against four players, wearing numbers 4, 8, 9 and 10. It was confirmed that Lucee Massaquoi who wore jersey number 9, is currently enrolled at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC), though she graduated from the school in 2016.The committee therefore awarded the points to World Wide Mission and using the law guiding the tournament, said the player will not compete in the tournament in the next edition.Another protest result involved Amos Warner High against New Destiny for fielding two illegal players.The protest committee, after investigating, found that player Onsay Kpawah (#4) and Tete Wise #7 graduated from the school in 2016 and therefore awarded the points to Amos Warner.The tournament is in three stages: County High School Championship on county level, Regional Championship and the National Championship.The Veteran Sports Committee divided the country into five regions. Region One has Lofa, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu; Region Two has Bong, Nimba, Grand Bassa, and Margibi; Region Three: Montserrado; Region Four: River Cess, Sinoe and Grand Kru; and Region Five: Maryland, River Gee, and Grand Gedeh.There will be cash prizes and other awards at the end of the finals in Monrovia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

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