NASA Seeks Applicants Yearly at the Mars Dune Alpha Habitat in Houston
Washington DC: Want to find your inner Matt Damon and spend a year pretending you’re isolated on Mars? NASA has a job for you.
To prepare for the eventual dispatch of astronauts to Mars, NASA began receiving requests on Friday for four people to live for a year on Mars Dune Alpha. That’s a 158-square-meter Martian habitat, created by a 3D printer, inside a building at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Paid volunteers will work a simulated Martian exploration mission complete with spacewalks, limited communications at home, restricted food and resources, and equipment failures.
NASA is planning three of these experiments and the first will begin in the fall of next year. All foods will be ready-to-eat space foods and there are no planned windows at the moment. Some plants will be grown, but not potatoes like in the movie. The martian. Damon played abandoned astronaut Mark Watney, who survived on potatoes.
“We want to understand how humans behave in them,” said lead scientist Grace Douglas. “We are looking at realistic situations from Mars.”
The application process opened on Friday and they are not looking for just anyone. Requirements are strict, including a master’s degree in a science, engineering, or math field or pilot experience. Only US citizens or permanent residents of the United States are eligible. Applicants must be between the ages of 30 and 55, in good physical health, have no dietary problems, and not be prone to motion sickness.
That shows NASA is looking for people close to the astronauts, said former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. That’s a good thing, he said, because it’s a better experiment if the participants are more similar to the people who will actually go to Mars. Previous Russian efforts on a bogus Mars mission called the Mars 500 didn’t end well in part because the people looked too much like ordinary people, he said.
For the right person, this could be great, said Hadfield, who spent five months in orbit in 2013 at the International Space Station, where he played guitar and sang a video of David Bowie’s version. Space rarity.