Nasa researchers will enter an isolated dome at a Hawaii volcano today and stay there for eight months to study human behaviour in space exploration.
Six scientists will enter the dome in the Mauna Loa volcano and won't have any physical contact with the outside world for their entire stay, Fox News said.
There will also be a 20-minute delay in communications, which is the time it would take an email to arrive on Mars from Earth.
Psychological difficulties that arise from living in such isolated conditions will be studied, as it is hoped Nasa will be able to send people on long space trips, including ones to Mars, by the 2030s.
Principal investigator Kim Binstead said: "We're hoping to figure out how best to select individual astronauts, how to compose a crew and how to support that crew on long-duration space missions."
Freelance space scientist James Bevington will be the mission commander for the study and other team members include engineers, a computer scientist, a biomedical expert and a doctoral candidate.
They were chosen from 700 people who applied to be part of the study.
Devices will be worn around the participant's necks to measure their moods and proximity to other team members.
Virtual reality will also be used to simulate comforting surroundings that the team wouldn't be able to access on Mars.
Their diet will consist of mostly freeze-dried foods, as well as some tinned and lightweight snacks. Daily tasks outside the compound will also be conducted in space suits.