Finalists will also go through medical evaluations, psychological testing, psychiatric screening in order to determine suitability for a physically and mentally demanding long-duration isolation mission.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is inviting applications for those who want to participate as a crew member for the first one-year long analog mission in a habitat that will feel like staying on Mars. This mission, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (CHAPEA), would be the first of three missions and is related to Mars. The other missions are scheduled to take place over the next four years with the second analog mission scheduled for 2024 and the third one for 2025.
All about the mission
The mission is scheduled to begin in Fall 2022. The mission will give four successful applicants a chance to live and work in a 1,700 square-foot module that is created by a 3D printer, called the Mars Dune Alpha. The simulated quarters will have a room for kitchen, medical, fitness, recreation, work, crop growth, a technical work area and will also have two bathrooms.
This habitat will simulate what it is like to carry missions out on Mars– resource limitations, equipment failure, communication delays and any other environmental occurrences. The crew will be performing simulated spacewalks, scientific research. They will also use virtual reality and robotic controls and exchange communications.
Purpose of the mission
According to NASA, the habitat will provide its four crew members the experience of what it is like to stay on the surface of Mars. It will be as Mars-realistic as possible. The results from this analog mission will help with scientific data that will further help in validating the systems that will be used for actual missions to Mars. The data will help in solving problems for spaceflight research. Analog missions are carried out because not all experiments can be conducted in space due to limited resources and money.
Who can apply and how to apply
NASA has started accepting applications for the mission from August 6 itself and will continue accepting applications until September 17. The applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident, within the age of 30-55. The candidate must possess a master’s degree in a STEM field and have at least two years of professional experience in a related STEM field.
NASA has also notified that compensation will be available to the selected candidates and also mentioned risks associated with participating in the analog mission–loss of subject privacy or confidentiality, minor discomforts and low-level radiation exposure from X-rays during medical exams and physical injury or a “highly unlikely chance of death”.
Finalists will also go through medical evaluations, psychological testing, psychiatric screening in order to determine suitability for a physically and mentally demanding long-duration isolation mission. Candidates with food allergies and gastrointestinal disorders will not be selected.