NASA Seeks Volunteers for Simulated Mars Mission: Live and Work in 3D-Printed Habitat for a Year

If you’ve ever imagined about residing on Mars, NASA is looking for people to participate in a simulated mission to the red planet.

The space agency has announced an opportunity for individuals to apply for its upcoming second CHAPEA mission, scheduled to start in the spring of 2025.

NASA is inviting volunteers to be part of a groundbreaking year-long mission inside the Mars Dune Alpha habitat at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. This 3D-printed structure, covering 1,700 square feet, replicates living conditions akin to what future astronauts may face on the Martian surface.

The initiative, known as the CHAPEA program, aims to comprehend how a crew responds to the challenges of an extended deep space mission, offering crucial insights for planning future missions to Mars.

During their tenure in Mars Dune Alpha, participants will engage in activities ranging from crop cultivation and habitat maintenance to simulated spacewalks and robotic operations. This immersive experience will expose them to real challenges such as equipment failures, communication delays, environmental stressors, and managing limited resources.

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NASA Seeks Highly Qualified Volunteers

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If you’ve ever imagined about residing on Mars, NASA is looking for people to participate in a simulated mission to the red planet.

The application process, open until April 2, seeks nonsmoking, healthy US citizens aged 30 to 55, proficient in English, with a master’s degree in a STEM field or a related qualification, and two years of professional experience or 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time on a jet aircraft.

NASA’s rigorous selection process includes medical, psychological, and psychiatric assessments over a timeline of up to 13 months. Food allergies or certain medications could disqualify applicants, and compensation details will be provided to selected candidates.

The ongoing inaugural CHAPEA mission, which commenced on June 25, 2023, and concludes on July 6, involves a crew of four individuals monitoring health and performance in the confined Mars-like environment. The crew has already harvested crops, participated in simulated “Marswalks,” and conducted various experiments.

The mission’s outcomes will contribute valuable data to address challenges associated with Martian living conditions, aiding NASA in ensuring the health and well-being of future Mars-bound crews. Two additional CHAPEA missions are planned, each with similar objectives.

“The second mission will be pretty similar to the first mission with the same goals in order to gather additional data across participants,” said Anna Schneider, public affairs officer at Johnson Space Center.

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