NASA has its eyes on Mars. In view of the future missions of the Red Planet, the American space agency is looking for four volunteers to participate in a year-long simulation of Mars on Earth.
The Sepia Experiment (Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog) is scheduled to take place from 2022 at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. In a statement released Friday, August 6, NASA explains that volunteers will be subject to conditions that “simulate the challenges of the journey to Mars.”
NASA needs your help! do you want:
Participate in scientific research
Use virtual reality
Will you contribute to the Mars mission?
Apply today to take part in a one-year simulation mission as an analog astronaut! How to apply: https://t.co/Ousplh78EI
– NASA’s Johnson Space Center (ASNASA_Johnson) August 6, 2021
He cites confusing, “limited resources”, “equipment failures”, “communication delays” or “other environmental stresses”. This program is ambitious and to integrate it, applicants must meet certain criteria.
Initially, the Safia experience was aimed at U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States, ranging in age from 30 to 55 years. Overall, “the selection of the crew will follow NASA’s standard criteria for astronaut candidates,” the space agency said. Also, one must be “in good health and motivated” and believe that one will be selected as a non-smoker.
Being fluent in English is as essential as getting a master’s degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Volunteers must prove “at least two years of professional experience or at least a thousand hours of flying.”
Daily life is stopped by various tasks
The four lucky ones will live and work on the approximately 150 m2 volume Mars Tune Alpha printed in 3D by the American company ICON. Their daily lives are interrupted by various missions during which they have to simulate space travel using robotic tools and virtual reality or carry out various scientific researches.
The project aims to assess how “highly motivated individuals perform under the severity of long-term underground simulation” but also “experimental solutions that meet the complex requirements of life on the surface of Mars”.
Grace Douglas, a member of the Power Technology Research Project, explains that experiments performed by volunteers will collect scientific data that will “help astronauts understand and face the physical and mental challenges they face before departure.” Johnson advanced to the space center.
Nominations begin on August 6 and run through Friday, September 17. NASA promises “unique and rewarding adventures” for those interested. Only a mysterious “compensation for participation” is mentioned.