Saturday, May 12, 2012

Images of potential HISEAS habitat location

Information on the HISEAS project has been relatively light, with the main website containing little information on the actual field site or habitat. Today I was surprised to find a publicly available 2011 NASA Astrobiology Institute report on the search for potential locations for the HISEAS habitat.

The report includes several photos taken by the Project Investigator of HISEAS, Kim Binsted, with the captions "Potential site for HI-SEAS habitat."

Potential H-SEAS habitat location. Credit: NASA Astrobiological Institute

Potential H-SEAS habitat location. Credit: NASA Astrobiology Institute
A Google Map is included on the NASA Astrobiology website with the coordinates of both of the sites, which are described to be "...on the Mauna Loa side of Saddle Road on the Big Island of Hawai’i".

Google Map image of the area in question:
Google Map of the potential HI-SEAS habitat location.

Personally I am surprised by how Mars-like the side of a volcano can be! As a mainlander, most of my mental images of the Hawai'ian volcanoes are of stark black igneous rocks. But the field site in question seems to be some sort of very red (possibly oxidized?) and black colored rock, looking incredibly similar to some of the Spirit and Opportunity images. (I'm not a geologist, I just play one on "Mars")

The report also includes a teaser of one of the potential EVA activities the crew will be doing, including "...geobiology [experiments] in lava caves."
All of these images, maps, and the report are publicly available at the NASA Astrobiology website:

NASA Astrobiology Website with Report and Google Map

PDF file of the report

(Note: The security certificate on both the report and the NASA Astrobiology website seem to be invalid)

1 comment:

  1. Great bit of detective work, Josh. I was also searching the net looking for at least images of the habitat, but came up empty. Thanks for posting this.


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