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“NASA Seeks Applicants for Simulated Mission to Mars”

NASA Seeks Applicants for Simulated Mission to Mars

For anyone who has ever dreamed of living on Mars, NASA is seeking potential “Martians” for a simulated mission to the red planet.

The space agency has put out a call for applicants to its second planned CHAPEA, or Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog, mission, which will begin in the spring of 2025.

Living on Mars: A Dream Come True

Imagine living and working on Mars, exploring the vast expanse of the red planet. It may seem like science fiction, but NASA is making this dream a reality. The agency is searching for volunteers to participate in a simulated mission to Mars, known as CHAPEA. This mission aims to understand how a crew reacts to the challenges of a deep space mission, providing valuable insights for future astronauts who will explore Mars.

Mars Dune Alpha: A Habitat Like No Other

Selected participants will spend one year living and working inside Mars Dune Alpha, a 3D-printed habitat located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Spanning 1,700 square feet, this habitat is designed to replicate the living conditions that future astronauts will experience on Mars. It’s a chance for volunteers to truly immerse themselves in the Martian environment and gain firsthand knowledge of the challenges they may face.

Real Challenges, Real Solutions

Living on Mars is no easy feat. Participants will face a range of challenges, including equipment failure, communication delays, environmental stressors, and limited resources. Inside Mars Dune Alpha, they will grow crops, maintain their habitat, exercise, carry out robotic operations, and go on simulated spacewalks. These tasks will test their physical and mental resilience, preparing them for the realities of life on Mars.

NASA’s Crew Criteria: Are You Ready?

NASA is looking for nonsmoking, healthy US citizens between the ages of 30 and 55 years old who are proficient in the English language. Applicants should have a strong desire for unique, rewarding adventures and an interest in contributing to NASA’s work to prepare for the first human journey to Mars. In addition, candidates must have a master’s degree in a STEM field or a related requirement like a medical degree, along with two years of professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time on a jet aircraft. The selection process will be rigorous, including medical, psychological, and psychiatric tests to ensure the chosen participants are mentally and physically suited for the mission.

Lessons from Mission 1: Building a Better Future

The first CHAPEA mission, which began in June 2023, is set to conclude soon. The crew, consisting of research scientist Kelly Haston, structural engineer Ross Brockwell, emergency medicine physician Nathan Jones, and microbiologist Anca Selariu, has been living in isolation, monitoring their health and performance while facing the challenges of life on Mars. They have successfully harvested crops using an indoor home gardening system and gone on simulated “Marswalks” to simulate excursions on the Martian surface. The crew has also conducted various experiments and investigations.

The knowledge gained from Mission 1 will be invaluable in preparing for future Mars missions. NASA aims to fill knowledge gaps about crew health, supplies, and support while living millions of miles away from Earth. Two more CHAPEA missions are planned, each with similar goals to gather additional data across participants.

Are You Ready to Become a Martian?

If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring Mars and contributing to the future of space exploration, now is your chance. NASA’s call for applicants is open until April 2. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to be part of history and pave the way for humanity’s journey to the red planet. Apply today and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.


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