Could you live in a small dome? With six strangers? For a year? For science?
I have a very important podcast recommendation for all of you. I listened to all of it during one single layover in Dallas; I couldn't stop! If you love non-fiction, science-themed, well-narrated podcast with a pinch of sociological overtones, you will love The Habitat. It's available wherever you listen to your podcasts.
I'll set the scene. Six strangers with a background in and love of space agree to live together in a small dome on the side of a volcano in Hawaii for a year for NASA. According to The Habitat, NASA is currently researching the implications of sending people to Mars. If a crew were to go to Mars, the voyage and mission would take several years, meaning that the crew would be potentially stuck together for years. Years! NASA's goal in establishing the habitat on Hawaii is to study how people interact with each other when in a small space for a long period of time.
The podcast is narrated by Lynn Levy, a science journalist who gives a voice recorder to each of the six people in the dome before they start their mission. Not only do you get to hear the crew comment on the events of their lives as they happen but you also get to hear the crew's answers to the weekly questions that Lynn sends them. The six members of the crew discuss everything from the nuances of dehydrated food to the possibility of dome hook-ups to the challenges of exploring the 'martian landscape' in a hazmat suit.
The Habitat is an enthralling and totally engrossing podcast about space exploration and human relationships. You really won't want it to end!