The New York Times:

That people will travel to Mars, and soon, is a widely accepted conviction within NASA. The target date for the initial human mission has drifted slightly — in a 2018 report commissioned by Congress, NASA estimated that the first human beings would land on Mars “no later than the late 2020s” — but the certainty has not wavered, even if technical hurdles remain.

Rachel McCauley, until recently the acting deputy director of NASA’s Mars campaign, had, as of July, a punch list of 800 problems that must be solved before the first human mission launches. Many of these concern the mechanical difficulties of transporting people to a planet that is never closer than 33.9 million miles away; keeping them alive on poisonous soil in unbreathable air, bombarded by solar radiation and galactic cosmic rays, without access to immediate communication; and returning them safely to Earth, more than a year and half later. Many other problems involve technical details so arcane that McCauley wouldn’t even know how to begin explaining them to a well-intentioned journalist lacking an advanced engineering degree. But McCauley does not doubt that NASA will overcome these challenges.

What NASA does not yet know — what nobody can know — is whether humanity can overcome the psychological torment of Martian life.

Really thought provoking article, asking a question I know that I certainly hadn’t considered: how do we prepare mentally for Mars?

NASA has some ideas, so they’re undertaking a remarkable experiment to test them out. How are they doing it? What’s it like for those trying? Read on, dear reader. Read on.