NASA offers year-long opportunity to live in Mars simulation

NASA is seeking four individuals to participate in a year-long simulation of living on Mars. The agency is specifically looking for healthy adults with a science degree or military or piloting experience. The program, called the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA), will begin its mission in spring 2025.

NASA is unable to send humans to Mars at this time, but this simulation will provide valuable insights into what it would be like to live on the Red Planet. The CHAPEA crew will reside in a 3D printed habitat in Houston, Texas, which is designed to mimic the potential habitats that NASA may construct on Mars in the future.

The current CHAPEA crew, consisting of four volunteers, has been living in the habitat since July of last year. Their daily activities include growing vegetables, conducting science experiments similar to those done on the International Space Station, and following a strict exercise regimen. They also participate in simulated "Marswalks" in a sandbox to replicate the Martian landscape.

For the second CHAPEA mission, NASA is looking for US citizens or permanent residents between the ages of 30 and 55 who are proficient in English and do not smoke. The agency prefers applicants to have a master's degree in a STEM field, with either two years of relevant experience or 1,000 hours of jet piloting.

Applicants must pass a criminal background check, psychiatric screening, and a medical evaluation. They should be prepared for a year of extreme isolation in close quarters with three other individuals and a highly regimented schedule. The application process also asks questions about willingness to consume spaceflight foods, go without contact with family and friends for extended periods, and undergo regular tests and restricted access to social media.

NASA has not disclosed specific details about compensation for CHAPEA participants but stated that it is consistent with compensation for other analog missions. Applications are open until April 2, 2025, at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.


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