Hawaii, Big Island. A dome in the crater of volcano Mauna Loa becomes the Martian home of six researchers during an eight-month-long mission called HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation).
The purpose of the mission is to monitor the human psychological response to confinement in an unearthly environment, in perspective of the launch of scientific trips to Mars involving human beings.
During the whole time of the HI-SEAS mission, financed by NASA and organized by the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the researchers exit the dome only wearing space suits with oxygen ventilation, and they're able to communicate with the rest of the world exclusively through emails and prerecorded voice messages, sent and received with a 20 minute-delay to simulate the real Mars-Earth communication gap.
This temporary mission naturally triggers broader questions, related to the meaning of human exploration to other planets.
What is humanity far from Earth?
Faced with a chance to start from scratch, would we repeat the same mistakes?