NASA Is Recruiting Explorers For Yearlong Simulated Mars Mission

By Jason Hall

August 10, 2021

3D rendered illustration of the surface of planet mars
Photo: Getty Images

NASA is giving eager explorers the chance to experience life on Mars without leaving Earth.

The agency is accepting applications for its first mission known officially as 'Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog,' which will be part of three yearlong analog missions simulating a Mars mission.

"The analogs will support research to develop methods and technologies to prevent and resolve potential problems on future human spaceflight missions to the Moon and Mars," NASA in a statement on its official website Friday (August 6).

NASA confirmed each mission will include four crew members living and working within a 1,700-square-foot module 3D-printed by ICON referred to as 'Mars Dune Alpha.'

"The habitat will simulate the challenges of a mission on Mars, including resource limitations, equipment failure, communication delays, and other environmental stressors," NASA wrote in its statement. "Crew tasks may include simulated spacewalks, scientific research, use of virtual reality and robotic controls, and exchanging communications. The results will provide important scientific data to validate systems and develop solutions."

NASA said its seeking explorers who are "healthy, motivated U.S. citizens or permanent residents" between the "age of 30 to 55 years old," and noted that all individuals must be "non-smokers" and "proficient in English for effective communication between crew and mission control."

The agency said crew selection will follow NASA criteria for astronaut candidate applications, which includes "a master's degree in a STEM field such as engineering, mathematics, or biological, physical or computer science from an accredited institution with at least two years of professional STEM experience or a minimum of one thousand hours piloting an aircraft is required."

NASA is also considering candidates who have completed two years of work toward a doctoral program in STEM, completed medical degree, or a test pilot program, as well as applicants who have completed military officer training or a Bachelor of Science in a STEM field.

Individuals can fill out an application on NASA's website here.

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