NASA is asking for motivated volunteers to participate in year-long missions in a habitat that will simulate the stressors of deep space, beginning in the fall of 2022.
Known as Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA), the mission series includes three one-year simulations of the surface of Mars based on NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The analogs will support research to develop methods and technologies to prevent and solve potential problems in future manned spaceflight missions to the Moon and Mars, NASA reports in a statement.
Each mission will consist of four crew members in a 570-square-meter 3D printed room module, called the Mars Dune Alpha. The habitat will simulate the challenges of a mission to Mars, including resource constraints, equipment failures, communication delays, and other environmental stressors. Crew tasks may include simulated spacewalks, scientific research, use of virtual reality and robotic controls, and communication exchange. The results will provide important scientific data to validate systems and develop solutions.
NASA is seeking healthy, motivated US citizens or permanent residents who are nonsmokers, ages 30-55, and are fluent in English for effective communication between crew and mission control. Crew selection will follow NASA’s standard criteria for aspiring astronauts.
A master’s degree in a STEM field such as engineering, mathematics, or biological, physical, or computer science is required from an accredited institution with at least two years of professional STEM experience or a minimum of one thousand hours piloting an aircraft. Candidates who have completed two years of work for a STEM doctoral program, or have obtained a medical degree or trial pilot program will also be considered. Additionally, with four years of professional experience, applicants who have completed military officer training or a bachelor of science in a STEM field can be considered.
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