US space agency NASA is seeking applicants as crew members to simulate life in distant worlds during the first one-year analog mission. Preparations are underway to launch the mission in 2022.
In preparation to tackle the real-life challenges of future missions to Mars, NASA will study how highly motivated individuals react under the rigors of long-duration, ground-based simulations.
The analog is important for testing solutions to meet the complex needs of living on the Martian surface, said Grace Douglas, lead scientist for NASA’s Advanced Food Technology research effort.
“The simulations on Earth will help us understand and combat the physical and mental challenges astronauts face before they leave,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Each mission will include four crew members living and working in a 3D-printed 1,700-square-foot module by Icon, called Mars Dune Alpha.
Habitat will simulate the challenges of a mission to Mars, including resource limitations, equipment failure, communication delays and other environmental stressors.
As NASA prepares for future long-duration missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, research here on Earth will be important for mission success.
HOW you can apply to be a crew member during the first one-year analog mission in a deep space habitat HERE >> https://t.co/e8IMPueGnZ
— NASA_SLS (@NASA_SLS) August 7, 2021
Crew tasks may include simulated spacewalks, scientific research, use of virtual reality and robotic controls, and exchange of communications. The results will provide important scientific data to validate the system and develop solutions.
The series of missions, known as the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog. It consists of three one-year Mars surface simulations based at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Analogs will support research to develop methods and technologies to prevent and solve potential problems on future human spaceflight missions to the Moon and Mars.
A master’s degree in a STEM field such as engineering, mathematics or biological, physics or computer science from an accredited institution with at least two years of professional STEM experience or a minimum of 1,000 hours is required to operate an aircraft, NASA said.