Monday March 6, 2017
The Wheeler Centre
176 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Language/ Cultural Consultant
‘You can fake your personality for a couple of weeks, at most … But over the long term, your true personality will come out.’
Carmel Johnston, an environmental scientist, was the crew commander of NASA’s most recent Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) project. As part of this mission, she spent an entire year living with five other scientists in an 11-metre-wide geodesic dome on the Mars-like slopes of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii.
The focus of the study, which concluded in August last year, was psychological. NASA wanted to learn individual stress reactions and group cohesion in an intensely cramped, isolated environment comparable to life in a space vessel on Mars. The researchers had to wear full space suits any time they left the dome, and resources were painstakingly rationed and recycled.
In conversation with astronomer Alan Duffy, Johnston will discuss group dynamics, freeze-dried scrambled eggs and social survival in a space dome.
Presented in partnership with WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks Programme.