NASA is looking for volunteers to live in its Mars simulation for a year

If extreme challenges are your cup of tea, there is a perfect opportunity for you. The space agency on Friday put out a call for volunteers to participate in its second year-long simulated Mars mission, the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA 2) mission. For the duration of the mission, which will begin in the spring of 2025, four selected crew members will be housed in a 1,700-square-meter 3D-printed living space in Houston. NASA is accepting applications from now until April 2nd. It’s a paid gig, but NASA isn’t disclosing how much participants will be compensated.

The Mars Dune Alpha habitat at NASA’s Johnson Space Center is designed to simulate what life might be like for future explorers on the red planet, where the environment is harsh and resources are limited. There is currently a crew living and working there as part of the first CHAPEA mission, more than halfway through its 378-day mission. During their stay, volunteers will maintain the habitat and grow crops, among other tasks. The habitat also has a 1,200-square-foot sandbox attached to it for simulated spacewalks.

To be considered, applicants must be US citizens between the ages of 30 and 55, fluent in English, and have a master’s degree in a STEM field, plus at least two years of professional experience, at least 1,000 hours of airplane piloting, or two years of experience. Working on a STEM doctoral program. Certain types of professional experience may also qualify applicants without a master’s degree. CHAPEA 2 is the second of three missions NASA has planned for the program, the first of which launched on June 25, 2023.

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