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Two Montana Scientists describe what it's like to live on a makeshift Mars

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"It's like having 6 roommates in college but you never get to leave the house," Crew Commander Carmel Johnston said.

If you were wondering what it would be like to spend a year on mars, it's apparently similar to your college dorm room...except you can't leave.

"You have to sit there you have to do all of your work," Johnston said. "Your social life, your exercise, your normal research tasks...everything about your entire life is lived in a very small space with 5 other people." 

Six scientists spent a year on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii as an experiment to help create guidelines for future mars missions. 

Two of those scientists grew up right here in the treasure state. 

"I mean it's nice to sort of be out of the rush and tumble of daily life and all of the completely meaningless stuff that's going on on social media and the news most of the time," Crew Architect Tristan Bassingthwaighte said. "But when you're stuck with everybody, especially in a place that's as small as it is, it's really had to get any type of privacy, that can start to grade on you a lot more." 

Both Johnston and Bassingthwaighte say the experiment came with challenges but what researchers are looking at is how the "astronauts" overcame any conflicts or issues. 

"In the end it's all natural human reaction to certain circumstances and so it is all beneficial for informing and helping create a better life for future astronauts," Johnston said.