After a year living in isolation, six crew members on a mock mission to Mars emerged on Sunday, Space.com and NBC News reported.
The crew members had been living in an isolated habitation the bare, rocky slopes of Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaii, as part of the HI-SEAS program (Hawaii Space Exploration Analogue and Simulation), based out of the University of Hawaii.
The mission participants had lived together for 12 months, with limited contact with friends, family and the outside world. The crew exited the habitat around 3 p.m. EDT. One crew member could be heard saying, "we were hoping for some sun" after realizing his freedom came on an overcast day.
The HI-SEAS habitat is an almost entirely self-sufficient structure, where participants utilize a limited supply of food and other necessities.