Science & Nature

What will it be like to live on Mars? NASA Seeks Volunteers for Simulated Mission

Martians Wanted: NASA's Call for Pioneering Adventurers Exploring the Red Frontier: Join the Mission to Simulate Life on Mars.

In a bold stride toward humanity’s ultimate frontier, NASA has issued a call to courageous souls eager to embark on an unprecedented journey. The agency is on the lookout for intrepid individuals to join its simulated one-year Mars surface mission, a pivotal step in shaping the future of human exploration of the Red Planet.

Dubbed CHAPEA (Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog), this second in a series of three ground-based missions is slated to commence in the spring of 2025. It promises to thrust participants into an immersive experience that replicates the formidable challenges of Martian exploration.

At the heart of this endeavour lies the Mars Dune Alpha, a cutting-edge habitat nestled within NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Spanning 1,700 square feet, this marvel of engineering serves as the stage for a meticulously crafted simulation, where volunteers will confront the harsh realities of life on Mars. From resource scarcity to equipment malfunctions, communication lags, and environmental pressures, every aspect mirrors the unforgiving nature of extraterrestrial exploration.

What will it be like to live on Mars? NASA Seeks Volunteers for Simulated Mission
Each mission will consist of four crew members living in Mars Dune Alpha, an isolated 1,700 square foot habitat.

The selected crew, comprising four individuals, will undertake a myriad of tasks essential for survival and scientific progress. These include simulated spacewalks, robotic operations, habitat maintenance, exercise routines, and the cultivation of crops—a holistic blend of activities designed to test both mental acuity and physical resilience.

Who are NASA’s ideal candidates for this extraordinary odyssey? Healthy, motivated U.S. citizens or permanent residents aged between 30 and 55, proficient in English, and non-smokers, are invited to apply. But beyond these prerequisites lies a deeper criterion: a burning passion for adventure coupled with a genuine desire to contribute to NASA’s groundbreaking mission to prepare for humanity’s inaugural voyage to Mars.

The deadline for applications looms, closing on Tuesday, April 2. Those fortunate enough to be chosen will undergo a rigorous selection process, adhering to NASA’s stringent criteria for astronaut candidates. A master’s degree in a STEM field, coupled with professional experience, stands as a prerequisite. However, the agency remains open to considering individuals from diverse backgrounds, recognizing the invaluable contributions they can offer.

Compensation awaits those who partake in this extraordinary expedition, details of which will be disclosed during the candidate screening process. But the rewards extend far beyond financial remuneration. Participants will play a pivotal role in advancing our understanding of human adaptability in extreme environments, laying the groundwork for future interplanetary voyages.

As NASA propels forward with its Artemis campaign, setting the stage for sustained lunar exploration, CHAPEA missions serve as crucibles of innovation, yielding invaluable insights that will inform the agency’s endeavours on Mars and beyond. With the Artemis program poised to land the first woman, first person of colour, and international partner astronaut on the lunar surface, the stage is set for humanity to chart a new course among the stars.

For those daring enough to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the path to becoming a modern-day pioneer awaits. As the call echoes across the cosmos, beckoning Martians-to-be to leave their indelible mark on history, one thing is certain—the future belongs to those who dare to dream, explore, and push the boundaries of human potential.

For further information on CHAPEA and how to apply, visit: NASA’s CHAPEA Page

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