What Is Hermes in NASA?

Hermes is an acronym that stands for “Human Exploration Research Analog and Mission Simulation.” It’s a facility that NASA uses to simulate space missions and conditions on Earth. The purpose of Hermes is to provide a realistic environment for astronauts and researchers to conduct experiments and train for future missions.

What is the purpose of Hermes?

The primary objective of Hermes is to simulate long-duration spaceflight scenarios. These simulations are designed to test various aspects of astronaut performance, including their physical and mental health, behavior, communication skills, teamwork abilities, and problem-solving skills.

Hermes also serves as a testing ground for new technologies that NASA plans to use on future space missions. The facility’s simulated environment allows scientists and engineers to test equipment and procedures in conditions that are similar to those found in space.

How does Hermes work?

The Hermes facility consists of several interconnected modules that simulate different areas of a spacecraft, including living quarters, laboratory spaces, exercise areas, and workstations. The modules are designed to mimic the environments found on the International Space Station (ISS) and other spacecraft.

During a simulation, participants live inside the modules for extended periods of time, typically ranging from several days to several months. They perform tasks similar to those they would undertake during an actual mission, such as conducting experiments or repairing equipment.

Participants wear monitoring devices that track their vital signs throughout the simulation. This data is used by researchers to evaluate how well astronauts adapt to life in space-like conditions over extended periods.

  • Living Quarters: Participants live in small spaces that mimic the living quarters on board the ISS. These spaces are equipped with sleeping bags, food supplies, and other necessities.
  • Laboratory Spaces: Researchers use these areas to conduct experiments related to human physiology or materials science.
  • Exercise Areas: Participants engage in physical activity to maintain their health and fitness while living in space-like conditions.
  • Workstations: Participants use these areas to perform tasks related to their mission, such as repairing equipment or conducting experiments.

Who participates in Hermes simulations?

Hermes simulations are typically conducted with a team of six participants. These participants are typically selected from a pool of astronauts, scientists, and engineers who apply for the opportunity to participate.

Participants must undergo extensive training before they can participate in a Hermes simulation. This training includes physical fitness assessments, medical evaluations, and mission-specific skills training.


In conclusion, Hermes is an important tool for NASA as it prepares for future space missions. By simulating space-like conditions on Earth, NASA can test equipment and procedures in a controlled environment before sending them into space. Additionally, Hermes provides valuable data on how humans adapt to life in space-like conditions over extended periods.