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NASA is looking for four volunteers to simulate a one-year journey to Mars

NASA is looking for four volunteers to simulate a one-year journey to Mars

February 19, 2024 – 8:11 pm

NASA is looking for four volunteers for a one-year simulated trip to Mars, according to the British newspaper The Guardian Science Alert. During the space agency's CHAPEA program, the crew will live in the 158-square-meter Mars Dune Alpha area. They will live here and simulate spacewalks, while observing, among other things, how their bodies react to stress and environmental influences. According to CHAPEA's principal investigator, Grace Douglas, the program's goal is to collect as much information as possible for missions to Mars or the Moon.

According to NASA's appeal, only those between the ages of 30 and 55, who are US citizens or permanent residents, are in good health, do not smoke, and have a clean criminal record can apply for a Mars simulation experience. Prospective volunteers must also have pilot experience: they must prove that they have spent at least 1,000 hours in the air as a pilot or that they have completed military officer training.

The selection process will last for 14 months. During this time, applicants are asked several questions, from the health of their intestinal system to claustrophobia and how they cope with isolation. Volunteers also have to provide detailed answers, for example to a question about how they lived when everyone was isolated during the coronavirus pandemic.

CHAPEA is planning three simulation programs, the first of which will begin on June 25, 2023. The crew of the first Mars Simulation Program has successfully overcome several obstacles. They've even been able to grow plants at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, where they live in a 3D-printed building in a giant sandbox:

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