Nasa is looking for “highly motivated people” to participate in the one-year test to see how astronauts might react to the rigors of a long-running, Earth-based Martian simulation.
Requirements to apply are that you are a healthy and motivated U.S. citizen or permanent resident, between the ages of 30 and 55, non-smoker and fluent in English for effective communication between the crew and mission control . Crew selection will follow NASA standard criteria for astronaut applicants.
NASA will conduct a series of these analog missions – known as Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog, and hopes to set up three one-year Mars surface simulations, with subsequent missions in 2024 and 2025. The simulations will be NASA Johnson based. Space Center, with four crew members for each simulation who will live and work in a 1,700 square foot 3D printed module called the Mars Dune Alpha. NASA says the analog missions will support research aimed at developing methods and technologies to prevent and solve potential problems during future manned space flight missions to the Moon and Mars.
“The analog is essential for testing solutions to meet the complex needs of life on the Martian surface,” Grace Douglas, senior scientist in NASA’s Advanced Food Technology research effort at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, said in Houston. “The simulations on Earth will help us understand and deal with the physical and mental challenges that astronauts will face before they leave. “
Some of the challenges that test subjects will face will be resource limitations, equipment failures, communication delays, and other environmental stressors.
Many space experts and behavioral scientists believe that one of the biggest challenges facing human missions to Mars will be the limited and delayed communications with Earth.
“A watershed moment will be when we don’t have real-time communications with Earth,” said Dr. Albert Holland, senior operations psychologist who heads NASA’s Behavioral Health and Performance group at JSC, in an interview with me in 2020. “I think people underestimate how much this is going to change space exploration as we know it today. “
Communication with the Moon has a 1.3 second delay, so real-time conversations are still possible, where crews can still feel connected to Earth, their families, and ground control. But once a communication lag is introduced, missions will undergo a drastic change.
“Crews will need more autonomy and self-sufficiency, which will require overlap in key technical areas in the event that a crew member is incapacitated or lost,” said Holland. “The crews will need a stronger, vertical and hierarchical line of authority compared to what we currently have in place, where the chain of command is rather flat. There will be a huge operational difference between a LEO vehicle and something beyond the comfortable real-time point of communication. “
Some of the crew tasks NASA plans for these analog missions include simulated spacewalks, scientific research, the use of virtual reality and robotic controls, and communications. The results will provide important scientific data to validate systems and develop solutions.
NASA says they are particularly interested in people with a master’s degree in a STEM field such as engineering, mathematics, or the biological, physical or computer sciences from an accredited institution with at least two years of experience. professional in STEM or a minimum of one thousand hours of piloting an airplane is necessary. Applicants who have completed two years of work toward a doctoral program in STEM, or obtained a medical degree or pilot test program will also be considered. Additionally, with four years of professional experience, applicants who have completed military officer training or a Bachelor of Science degree in a STEM field may be considered.
NASA says this mission is for you “if you have a strong desire for unique and rewarding adventures and want to contribute to NASA’s work in preparing for the first human journey to Mars.”
Originally posted on Universe Today.