HONOLULU (AP) — Crammed into a dome with one bathroom, six scientists will spend eight months munching on mostly freeze-dried foods — with a rare treat of Spam — and have only their small sleeping quarters to retreat to for solace.
The simulated stay on Mars with a carefully selected crew of researchers embarked on a mission Thursday to gain insight into the psychological toll a similar real-life voyage would have on astronauts. It’s part of a NASA-funded human-behavior experiment that could help the space agency send humans to the red planet in the next 20 years.
The man-made dome that the four men and two women call home is outfitted with futuristic white walls and an elevated sleeping platform on the world’s largest active volcano in Hawaii. The vinyl-covered shelter spans 1,200 square feet, or about the size of a small, two-bedroom house.
A video released by the group shows the six scientists in matching red polo shirts arriving and entering the dome to farewell handshakes from program associates.
Except for the presence of the white van that brought the group, the scene was reminiscent of the red planet — the dome set in a barren, rock-strewn and reddish landscape with distant hills giving the feel of a wind-swept and forbidding environment.
“I’m looking forward to building relationships with my crew,” said mission commander James Bevington, a space scientist. “I fully anticipate coming out with five new best friends.”
They will have no physical contact with people in the outside world and will work with a 20-minute delay in communications with their support crew — the time it would take for an email to reach Earth from Mars.
The project will study the psychological difficulties with living in isolated, confined conditions for an extended period.
NASA hopes to send humans to an asteroid in the 2020s and Mars by the 2030s.
“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,” said principal investigator Kim Binsted, a University of Hawaii science professor.
The team members include engineers, a computer scientist, a doctoral candidate and a biomedical expert. They were selected from 700 applicants subjected to personality tests, background checks and extensive interviews.
“When I started, my biggest fear was that we were going to be that crew that turned out like Biosphere 2, which wasn’t a very pretty picture,” Bevington said.
The experimental greenhouse-like habitat in Arizona became a debacle in the 1990s. It housed different ecosystems and a crew of eight to try to understand what would be needed for humans to live on other planets. The participants were supposed to grow their own food and recycle their air inside the sealed glass space.
But the experiment soon spiraled out of control, with the carbon dioxide level rising dangerously and plants and animals dying. The crew members grew hungry and squabbled so badly that by the time they emerged two years later, some of them weren’t speaking to each other.
The University of Hawaii operates the dome, called Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS, and NASA has dedicated more than $2 million to the various stages of the project.
Scientists previously lived in the dome for two other long-term NASA-funded stays — one of them lasting a year, the other eight months — to study food requirements and crew cohesion.
A number of other Mars simulation projects exist around the world, but one of the chief advantages of the Hawaii experiment is the rugged, Mars-like landscape, on a rocky, red plain below the summit of the world’s largest active volcano, the Big Island’s Mauna Loa.
The dome has a kitchen, laboratory and bathroom, plus small sleeping quarters for each member. Unlike Biosphere 2, it won’t be airtight.
To maintain the crew’s sense of isolation, bundles of food, including some canned goods and snacks, will be dropped off a distance from the dome, and the team members will send a robot to retrieve them.
The participants will not be confined but will wear spacesuits whenever they step outside for geological expeditions, mapping studies or other tasks.
They will wear instruments measuring their moods and proximity to other team members and use virtual reality devices to simulate familiar and comforting surroundings.
Follow Hawaii correspondent Caleb Jones on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CalebAP . See more of his work here: https://apnews.com/search/Caleb%20Jones%20Hawaii .
This version corrects that NASA has funded over $2 million for the entire project, not for this stage.
BOSTON (AP) — Half a world away from Washington, James Taylor is greeting fans with a video bemoaning the end of the Obama era.
The singer emailed a clip from French Polynesia on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration. It shows him standing outside a grass hut in the rain.
In his video postcard, he says: “Hi, it’s James in French Polynesia on the last day of the Obama administration, and it feels like it’s raining all over the world.”
Taylor lives in western Massachusetts. He says he’s vacationing en route to his latest tour in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Taylor has been a vocal critic of Trump. He performed at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.
NEW YORK (AP) — The lack of a TV set shouldn’t prevent you from following Friday’s presidential inauguration ceremony, the pomp and circumstance surrounding it, and the many protests and marches planned around the country.
Television channels carrying the inauguration live include ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, C-SPAN and Fox News, as well as Telemundo in Spanish. Without a TV, you can check their websites, apps or YouTube channels to watch the events and commentary. Switch among them to compare and contrast coverage.
You can go beyond traditional television networks, too.
THE NEWSPAPER ROUTE
The Washington Post is offering free access to its website until Saturday as it covers President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration beginning at 9 a.m. ET Friday. The event will be streamed live on the newspaper’s website, its phone app and its Facebook and YouTube pages. The Post also plans live coverage of Friday evening’s balls with its fashion critic Robin Givhan, style writers and others.
At The New York Times, reporters around the country will cover the events in Washington and reactions from across the country. The Times plans live video and real-time analysis from its political reporters, not just on its website and app, but also on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Digital media darling BuzzFeed will host a Facebook Live event called “BuzzFeed News Live At Trump’s Inauguration: This Is Happening.” BuzzFeed will report on events in real time from several locations throughout Washington. The coverage starts around 10 a.m. ET Friday on the BuzzFeed News Facebook page and will switch to a feed of the inauguration at noon.
Vox reporter Liz Plank, meanwhile, will live stream from the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, a protest expected to draw large crowds of people concerned about a Trump presidency. Plank’s coverage will be on Vox’s Facebook page . Refinery29 plans to be at three of the largest women’s march protests over the weekend — in Washington, New York and Park City, Utah, home of the Sundance Film Festival.
USA Today is offering virtual reality and 360-degree coverage of the events, with cameras at the Capitol, the National Mall and along the inaugural parade route. USA Today says the livestream will be available on VR headsets on the USA Today channel in the YouTube app.
Beyond news outlets’ individual social media pages, you can also follow along on Twitter. In partnership with PBS NewsHour, Twitter will stream a special coverage at http://inauguration.twitter.com .
If you have friends attending the inauguration, the marches, or both, look for their live video streams on Facebook or Twitter, or Instagram Stories on the photo-sharing app.
THE OFFICIAL WORD
The Presidential Inauguration Committee will also stream the inauguration on its website .
BACK TO TELEVISION
For traditionalists with TVs, expect a full day of coverage on Friday:
— ABC: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting with “Good Morning America,” and continuing with anchors George Stephanopoulos, David Muir and Robin Roberts. Prime-time special at 10 p.m. ET Friday.
— CBS: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting with “CBS This Morning” and continuing with anchor Scott Pelley. Prime-time special at 8 p.m. on Friday.
— CNN: 5 a.m. to conclusion, starting with “New Day.” Wolf Blitzer, Jake Tapper, Anderson Cooper and Dana Bash cover the oath of office, with Cooper, Chris Cuomo, Alisyn Camerota and Brooke Baldwin covering the parade. Prime-time inaugural ball coverage.
— C-SPAN: 7 a.m. to conclusion, live coverage of oath of office, parade and inaugural balls.
— Fox Business Network: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., anchored by Neil Cavuto.
— Fox News Channel: 5 a.m. to conclusion, starting with “Fox & Friends.” Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum cover the oath of office and parade. Regular Fox prime-time personalities anchor their shows from Washington, including inaugural ball coverage.
— MSNBC: 6 a.m. to conclusion, starting with “Morning Joe.” Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews anchor the inaugural. Prime-time inaugural ball coverage.
— NBC: 7 a.m. to conclusion, starting with “Today” show. Lester Holt covers the ceremony and parade.
— Telemundo: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., coverage anchored by Jose Diaz-Balart and Maria Celeste. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., special on inauguration as seen through eyes of the Latino community.
AP Television Writer David Bauder contributed to this story.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Before their first home game following a long trip that ended with a miserable thud at Golden State, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue showed his team video clips to remind them who they are.
“Do that,” LeBron James said.
Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, James, his All-Star teammate, had 21 points and 15 assists, and Cleveland looked more like an NBA champion in a 118-103 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.
The Cavs were back in Quicken Loans Arena following a six-game road swing (their longest of the season) that concluded with an embarrassing 35-point loss to the Warriors. But on their home floor, they had better offensive balance, ball movement and defense while improving to 30-11 — the same record Cleveland had at the halfway point of its 2016 NBA title season.
Channing Frye scored 18, Iman Shumpert 17 and James Jones 14 while filling in for star forward Kevin Love, still bothered by back spasms.
“Coming off our road trip we just weren’t playing Cavalier basketball,” said James, “and getting the ball popping from one side to the other. It was good to get back to the way we’ve been playing for most of the season.”
Tyson Chandler had 22 points and 16 rebounds, but the Suns lost for the fourth time in five games.
Phoenix closed within 12 in the fourth, but was unable to get any closer.
“They always make the right play offensively and defensively,” said Suns guard Devin Booker, who finished with 21 points on 4-of-12 shooting. “They’re always on a string together on both ends of the floor. You can hear them talking out there. You can hear them communicating. I guess that’s one thing you can learn from them, how comfortable they are with themselves and the way they talk to each other.”
Already thin on their front line with Love out, the Cavs lost forward Tristan Thompson in the second quarter with a dislocated left index finger. However, Thompson returned after halftime.
And Cleveland’s offense was in a much better rhythm from the start after a trip that wasn’t always pleasing to the eye.
Irving and James shined as always, but it was the contributions of Cleveland’s supporting cast that made the difference.
“We definitely needed it,” James said. “We needed guys to step up and you know, we had that tonight out of everybody, especially Channing.”
While trying to integrate newly acquired Kyle Korver into their rotation on the road, the Cavs got into some bad habits as they forced passes to one of the league’s best shooters. A couple of practices seem to have helped as Korver made a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter of his home debut to help Cleveland open a 21-point lead.
The Suns made a brief run in the third and got within 12 before Shumpert hit a pair of 3s and Jones hit one from long range.
Thompson injured his finger when he got it caught on Chandler’s jersey. For a moment, he was worried it might affect his consecutive games streak that now stands at 411 — the longest current run in the league.
“Once they told me it was only dislocated, I knew the streak was still alive,” he said.
Suns: G Brandon Knight returned after missing two games with a sprained right wrist, but had a short night after committing four fouls in four minutes in the first half. … Chandler has at least 15 rebounds in six straight games, matching the club record set by Jim Fox in 1969. … Booker had averaged 30 points in his past six games.
Cavaliers: Korver finished with nine points. … James, who missed his 46th career triple-double by one rebound, will be making his 13th consecutive All-Star Game appearance next month. He said the honor never gets old. “Just means I’ve been doing something right in this league,” he said. “Means I’m consistent and taking pride in my individual ability to go out and produce for the team every night, and whatever team I’ve been on in my career. It’s always great to see my name up there with the best guys in the league, so it’s a pretty cool thing.” … G J.R. Smith has had the hard cast removed from his surgically repaired thumb. He’s expected back in late March. … Jones made his first start since April 2, 2015.
Suns: At the New York Knicks on Saturday. Phoenix won the first meeting this season in overtime.
Cavaliers: Host the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday in a matchup between two of the NBA’s best teams.
WASHINGTON (AP) — With fireworks heralding his big moment, Donald Trump swept into Washington Thursday on the eve of his presidential inauguration and pledged to unify a nation sorely divided and clamoring for change. The capital braced for an onslaught of crowds and demonstrators — with all the attendant hoopla and hand-wringing.
“It’s a movement like we’ve never seen anywhere in the world,” the president-elect declared at a celebratory evening concert Thursday night with the majestic Lincoln Memorial for a backdrop. To the unwavering supporters who were with him from the start, he promised: “You’re not forgotten any more. You’re not forgotten any more.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he called out, and then fireworks exploded into the evening sky.
Trump began taking on more trappings of the presidency during the day, giving a salute to the Air Force officer who welcomed him as he stepped off a military jet with wife Melania at Joint Base Andrews just outside Washington. Later, he placed a ceremonial wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.
At a luncheon in a ballroom at his own hotel, he gave a shout-out to Republican congressional leaders, declaring: “I just want to let the world know we’re doing very well together.” House Speaker Paul Ryan, he said, will finally have someone to sign legislation into law. Then Trump veered into the territory of the unknowable to boast his Cabinet selections had “by far the highest IQ of any Cabinet ever.”
Just blocks away, the White House was quickly emptying out. President Barack Obama had his final weekly lunch with Vice President Joe Biden and got in a few final official acts, cutting the sentences of 330 inmates and placing a call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence, in a tweet, called Inauguration Eve “a momentous day before a historic day,” as security barricades and blockades went up around Washington in preparation for Friday’s swearing-in at the Capitol.
“We are all ready to go to work,” Pence said. “In fact, we can’t wait to get to work for the American people to make it great again.”
Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he’d be putting on his “favorite DHS jacket” and taking to the streets to inspect security preparations for the inaugural festivities.
He told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that areas where inaugural crowds will congregate will be “extra fortified this year with dump trucks, heavily armored vehicles to prevent anybody who’s not authorized from being in the area from driving something in there.” He said there was “no specific credible threat” related to the inauguration.
Trump’s public schedule for the inaugural celebration began at Arlington, where he and Pence stood at attention as a bugler played taps at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Trump’s wife, children and grandchildren silently looked on.
From there, Trump shuttled to a celebratory welcome concert on the steps of Lincoln Memorial that ended with fireworks filling the sky.
The concert, open to the public, offered headliners including country star Toby Keith, soul’s Sam Moore and rockers 3 Doors Down. But not singer Jennifer Holliday: She backed out after an outcry from Trump critics.
“This is some day, dear friends,” actor Jon Voight told the crowd, casting Trump’s impending inauguration as evidence of divine intervention after “a parade of propaganda that left us all breathless with anticipation, not knowing if God could reverse all the negative lies against Mr. Trump.”
The crowd sent up a cheer when the giant screens flashed video of Trump singing along as Lee Greenwood delivered his signature “God Bless the U.S. A.” Trump declared such a concert had a never been done before. In fact, a number of past presidents have staged inaugural concerts among the monuments.
Tom Barrack, the chief architect of Trump’s inaugural festivities, said Trump would show the world that “we can argue, we can fight and we can debate,” but then the nation unites behind one president.
Trump, though, still had an urge to rehearse particulars of the long, 18-month campaign, from its early days when he claimed “a lot of people didn’t give us much of a chance” to the final weeks when his rallies took him to “state after state after state.”
Spokesman Sean Spicer said the president-elect was still making “edits and additions” to the inaugural address he’ll deliver at Friday’s swearing-in.
Never mind about Trump’s gilded private plane: He made his Washington entrance on a Boeing 757 that is part of the fleet of military planes that become Air Force One whenever the president is aboard. The president-elect, who came to Washington without any press on his plane, was joined on the trip by a gaggle of children, grandchildren and other members of his extended family. Also spotted: bags of dresses and formalwear for the coming days’ festivities.
At the luncheon, Trump made sure to work in a plug for his hotel, saying, “This is a gorgeous room. A total genius must have built this place.” Reporters covering Trump’s remark were removed from the room before the president-elect finished speaking.
Ebullient Trump fans were ready for a three-day party.
“We’re hoping for good weather and hoping for some unity,” said Jon-Paul Oldham, a firefighter who came from Thomaston, Connecticut. He said everyone should want Trump to succeed.
“Wanting him to fail is like wanting the plane to crash but you’re on the plane,” Oldham said.
It does appear it may rain on Trump’s parade.
With rain in the forecast, the National Park Service announced that it was easing its “no umbrella” policy for Friday, allowing collapsible umbrellas along the parade route and on the National Mall.
But Trump was unfazed, telling donors at an event Thursday night that if “it really pours that’s OK, because people will realize it’s my real hair. Might be a mess, but they’re going to see that it’s my real hair.”
Associated Press Writers Julie Bykowicz, Jill Colvin and Jessica Gresko contributed to this report.
Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/nbenac
— ABC: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting with “Good Morning America,” and continuing with anchors George Stephanopoulos, David Muir and Robin Roberts. Prime-time specials Thursday and Friday at 10 p.m. ET.
This story has been corrected to delete specific performers at balls, as some are performing instead at Thursday’s concert.