April 17, 2024

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NASA is looking for volunteers for a paid, year-long Mars simulation mission

NASA is looking for volunteers for a paid, year-long Mars simulation mission

The mission will take 378 days and is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2025.

The future of Mars exploration is on the horizon and NASA is recruiting citizen volunteers to help make that future a reality.

NASA is recruiting qualified individuals to participate in a year-long mission on a simulated version of the Red Planet, the agency Announced this week.

Volunteers will live and work at Johnson Space Center in Houston, inside Mars Dune Alpha, a 1,700-square-foot 3D-printed habitat.

“For explorers and adventurers and people who love science, this is a really unique and amazing opportunity to be able to contribute to science,” Susan Bell, head of NASA's Behavioral Health and Performance Laboratory at Johnson Space Center, told ABC News. .

The mission, the second of three planned Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA) programs, will last 378 days and is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2025.

“We are simulating what we would expect from a Mars surface mission,” Bell said. “We're collecting all kinds of data so we can figure out how humans can survive and thrive in those conditions.”

The simulated Mars habitat will replicate the challenges of a mission in space. NASA says “resource constraints, equipment failures, communications delays, and other environmental stresses” will be part of the mission.

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Members of the four-person team can expect “simulated spacewalks, robotic operations, habitat maintenance, exercises, and crop growth,” according to the agency.

“Applicants must have a strong desire for unique and rewarding adventures and an interest in contributing to NASA’s work to prepare for the first human mission to Mars,” the agency said in a statement. Press release Friday.

The current CHAPEA mission is on its 242nd day out of 378, according to Bell, who notes: “We are learning from this crew and collecting data every day.”

All three missions are designed to eliminate “anomalies affecting a specific crew or individual,” Bell says.

“We're seeing how we can better support people in conditions related to their human health. We're starting to see trends that we can explain to best support people in the future,” Bell explained.

To qualify for the assignment, you must be a healthy, non-smoking US citizen or permanent resident between the ages of 30 and 55 and proficient in English.

The agency says applicants must have a master's degree with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) credentials and experience in the field, or at least 1,000 hours of aircraft piloting or military experience required. NASA said a Bachelor of Science degree in a STEM field may also be considered.

“What we're looking for on this call is for ordinary civilians who are like astronauts to be involved in research for us,” Bell said.

Compensation for mission participation is available, according to NASA, but a specific salary will be provided during the candidate screening process.

The application deadline is April 2 NASA's CHAPEA website.

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