Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015

Researchers return to Mars on Mauna Loa on Aug. 28 to spend a full year simulating long-term space exploration. Photos from HI-SEAS
THE PLANET MARS SIMULATION SITE ON  MAUNA VOLCANO IN KA`U will receive six scientists who will live there for a  year beginning Aug. 28. This Hawai`i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation project will be the longest experiment to date for the program where a team lives in isolation in a dome at an elevation of 8,000 feet. Ka`u residents can follow the program on the website hi-seas.org and on Facebook.
Kim Binsted at HI-SEAS habitat
on Mauna Loa.
      This will be the fourth HI-SEAS mission in the University of Hawai`i at Manoa research project that simulates long-duration space exploration.
      As with the previous HI-SEAS missions in the NASA-funded study, this mission will focus on crewmember cohesion and performance. HI-SEAS researchers are working to develop effective team composition and support strategies to allow crews to successfully travel to Mars and back, an estimated three-year journey.
      The crew will be monitored using cameras, body movement trackers, electronic surveys and other methods. UH-Manoa researchers and their collaborators will be studying the group’s cohesion over time, gathering data on a wide range of cognitive, social and emotional factors that may impact team performance.
      “The longer each mission becomes, the better we can understand the risks of space travel,” said Kim Binsted, HI-SEAS principal investigator and UH-Manoa professor from the Department of Information and Computer Sciences. “We hope that this upcoming mission will build on our current understanding of the social and psychological factors involved in long-duration space exploration and give NASA solid data on how best to select and support a flight crew that will work cohesively as a team while in space.”
      Team members have a wide range of experience and educational backgrounds.
      Sheyna Gifford has worked on research projects in astrophysics, neuroscience and psychology and is a contributor to NASA educational websites, a medical writer and an advocate of STEM education. Her previous experience includes working on the HESSI satellite at Space Science Laboratories. She holds a bachelor of science in neuroscience and English, a master of clinical laboratory science and biotechnology, a master of science in journalism, a doctor of medicine and is currently earning a master of business administration.
      Tristan Bassingthwaighte is currently a doctor of architecture candidate at UH-Manoa. He is in the final stage of completing his master’s degree in architecture from Tongji University in Shanghai, where he studied abroad for a year looking at human habitation in extreme environments. His doctoral work will involve designing a next generation conceptual Mars habitat.
Andrzej Stewart
      Carmel Johnston is a soil scientist from Whitefish, Montana. Her previous research focused on effects of permafrost thaw on trace gas emissions in peat lands. Her interest in global food production and sustainability lead her to HI-SEAS to research food production in Mars simulation. She has a bachelor of science in soil and water science and a master in science in land resources and environmental sciences from Montana State University.
      Andrzej Stewart is an ardent light aircraft pilot and previously worked at Lockheed Martin as an interplanetary flight controller. He worked on console for the Spitzer Space Telescope, Mars Odyssey, MRO, MAVEN, Juno and GRAIL. Recently, he served as the flight engineer for the sixth mission of NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog, simulating a two-week journey to asteroid 1620 Geographos. He earned a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and an SM in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT in 2007.
      Cyprien Verseux is a doctorate student at the University of Rome. He is an astrobiologist working on the search for life beyond Earth and is also an expert in biological life support systems for Mars exploration. Part of his research aims at making human outposts on Mars as independent as possible of Earth by using living organisms to process Mars’ resources into products needed for human consumption.
      Christiane Heinicke is a German physicist and engineer. Most recently she has worked on sea ice and has also gained experience working with polar lights, metal melts and simulations of the Earth’s mantle. She received her bachelor of science in applied physics from the Ilmenau University of Technology in Germany and her master of science in geophysics from Uppsala University in Sweden.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Radar shows bands of rain off the Ka`u Coast produced
by Tropical Storm Guillermo. Map from NWS
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT for Ka`u and all of Hawai`i Island. Tropical storm Guillermo is expected to continue moving toward the northwest today with a shift toward the west-northwest expected tonight through Thursday morning. The latest Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecast estimates the center of Guillermo will pass approximately 215 miles northeast of Hilo tomorrow afternoon. Little change in strength is expected today, with slow and steady weakening anticipated thereafter. 
      CPHC warns that while this forecast track keeps the worst weather away from the islands, any deviation to the left of the expected track could bring tropical storm conditions to portions of the Big Island.
      Rainfall amounts of one to three inches will be possible in some areas, with isolated maximum amounts to seven inches possible mainly in higher terrain. Rainfall amounts will be lower if Guillermo tracks farther away from the islands than currently forecast.
      It is vital to not focus on the exact forecast track, according to CPHC. Forecast movement, direction and speed are only estimates. Even small errors in the forecast track can mean major differences in where the worst conditions will occur, and damaging effects can extend far from the center.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Jessica Ferracane
IN ANTICIPATION OF HEAVY RAIN and wind forecast with the arrival of Tropical Storm Guillermo, all backcountry areas in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park will be closed as of 5 p.m. today until it is safe to reopen them, reported park Public Affairs Specialist Jessica Ferracane. No backcountry permits will be issued until park staff reassess the storm’s impact. 
      In addition, Mauna Loa Road from Kipukapuaulu to the Mauna Loa Lookout and Namakanipaio Campgrounds and A-frame cabins will close as of 5 p.m. today. Visitor centers, restrooms, lava tube, front-country trails, steam vents and other popular features will remain open.
      Park staff will continue to monitor the storm and assess conditions in the park. The public will be kept informed via news releases, social media and the park website, nps.gov/havo.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NOAA SHIP OKEANOS EXPLORER is exploring the largely unknown deep-sea ecosystems in the Hawaiian Archipelago and offshore Johnston Atoll as part of the Hohonu Moana: Exploring the Deep Waters off Hawai`i expedition. During four separate cruise legs, NOAA and partners investigate deep waters in and around Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, the Geologists Seamounts group and the Main Hawaiian Islands.
Okeanos Explorer research tools include a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV,
to explore the deep ocean. Photo from NOAA
      Themes and objectives for the 2015 Expedition include:
  • Acquire data to support priority marine national monument and national marine sanctuary science and management needs; 
  • Identification and characterization of vulnerable marine habitats - particularly high-density deep-sea coral and sponge communities; 
  • Characterization of seamounts within the Prime Crust Zone, an area of the Pacific with the highest expected concentration of deep-sea minerals, including rare metals and rare-earth elements; 
  • Collect information on the complex geologic history of Central Pacific Seamounts, particularly those that are or may be relevant to our understanding of plate tectonics; and 
  • Provide a foundation of publicly accessible data and information products to spur further exploration, research and management activities. 
      Operations use the ship’s deep-water mapping systems, NOAA’s two-body 6,000-meter remotely operated vehicle system, CTD rosett and a high-bandwidth satellite connection for real-time ship to shore communications.
      ROV dives include high-resolution visual surveys and limited sampling – including the first-ever look at deep seafloor habitats offshore of Johnston Atoll below 400 meters and habitats deeper than 2,000 meters in PMNM.
      This expedition provides extensive opportunities for the public to connect to the mission. Web pages for this expedition include background content, mission logs, daily updates, videos and images near real-time ship tracking features and a live video feed.
      See oceanexplorer.noaa.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL meets tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Council Chambers in Hilo. The meeting is streamed live at hawaiicounty.gov. Click on Council Meetings. Agenda is also available on the website.
      Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Na`alehu State Office Building.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_August2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.

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