Space.com included a quote from my blog in their article about the Hi-SEAS mission!
Check out their article here: http://www.space.com/14755-mock-mars-mission-space-food.html
Which then got picked up by MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46608766/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.T1GKt_Wjki8
Lots of good press coverage for Hi-SEAS so far! Hopefully this continues into the mission!
One experiment I've considered running is testing methods for conducting press interviews with the time delay.
|Girl "calls" her father while he is in orbit. Source: CNSA|
The longest time delay humans have worked with in the modern era is 1.3 seconds. That's the time it took messages from Earth to reach the Apollo astronauts on the Moon. And it took an additional 1.3 seconds for their response to reach Earth.
So if you were to ask an astronaut on the Moon a question, here's what it would sound like to someone here on Earth:
Earth: "What's your favorite meal in space?"
*wait six seconds*
Astronaut: "That's a great question. Since our sense of taste is less sensitive than on Earth, the spicy foods are really popular like the Shrimp Cocktail."
Asking "back and forth" questions like this would waste a lot of time, especially for the Astronauts who will have many demands on their time.
Science fiction authors have proposed alternative methods of conducting interviews including:
1) "Live" conversation where each party has to wait 3-22 minutes for the response / to ask next question (Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy)
2) "Video edited" interviews where news hosts send a bunch of questions to crews in one video with pauses before asking the next question. "Astronauts" send their answers in a single video, and then editing team on the ground splices it together into a "classic" interview. (Shadows Of Medusa by Brian Enke)
3) Other alternatives like writing questions in an email which the astronaut then responds to individually on video.
With HiSEAS, we could try a variety of interview formats and then do a survey of both media outlets and viewers to see which types they prefer.
This is an example of the type of preparatory analog research that help make future space exploration smoother.
Any suggestions on alternate ways we could do interviews on "Mars"?
(Of course we'll be tweeting! With a 5-20 minute delay of course!)