Who could know 100 years ago that now we would have developed impressive technology to study and rapidly travel our planet, put people on the moon, launch objects made by us into interstellar space, and never-ending etcetera?
Science and space exploration do not stop and for some years the goal has become increasingly clear: to reach and colonize Mars.
The red planet is the closest and most similar to ours, so arriving and settling on its surface represents a great advance in our ambitions to become an interplanetary species. But achieving it will not be easy. Billions of dollars in investment, a lot of experimentation, study, and of course the courage of the people who are chosen to carry out those missions.
So in order to prepare to send astronauts to the red planet in the near future, NASA began accepting applications recently. Four people will be chosen from this process and will live for a year in Mars Dune Alpha. It’s a 1700-square-foot Martian habitat -created by a 3D printer- which is housed inside a building at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
NASA Wants 4 Volunteers To Live In A Simulated Martian Environment
This design almost perfectly emulates the conducts and situations that our explorers will have to face on Mars.
Paid volunteers will work on a simulated Martian exploration mission that will include spacewalks, limited communications with Earth, limited food and resources, and equipment failures.
Before any manned mission to Mars, NASA plans to run at least three of these simulations. The first will start in October 2022.
“We want to understand how human beings perform at it. We are examining realistic situations on Mars, “said Grace Douglas, the scientist in charge of the project.
Not everyone can participate, NASA looks for people with profiles similar to those of astronauts who have a master’s degree in a scientific, engineering, or mathematical area, or experience as a flight pilot. Only US citizens or people with permanent residence in the country can participate. Applicants must be between 30 and 55 years old, in good health, without dietary problems, and not prone to motion sickness.