In November, 2020, I "left Earth" for a mission to "Mars." I spent two weeks living on the side of a volcano at the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) research facility on the slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawai'i.
For two weeks, my five crewmates and I ate nothing but shelf-stable Martian food (everything dehydrated or freeze-dried), worked on exploratory research and ventured out into lava tubes fully suited up in spacesuits.
Friday, Space.com premiered a mini-documentary about my experience as an analog astronaut, showing what it really means to complete a simulated mission like this. Leading up to that, I thought I'd host an AMA about going to "Mars," as an analog astronaut.
While you're at it, check out the documentary, OUT NOW!: