NASA is recruiting volunteers for a simulated mission to Mars

26. 08. 2021
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NASA has announced that it is looking for volunteers to participate in three one-year analog missions to simulate life on Mars. The mission, known as the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog, will take place at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in 2022, 2024 and 2025.

Mission to Mars

During each mission, four crew members will live and work in a 158-square-meter Mars Dune Alpha module printed by an ICON 3D printer. The environment has been adapted to simulate the challenges that Mars mission participants may face. This includes limited resources and communication with the family, environmental stressors and equipment failures.

Panorama of Mars from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander

Selected volunteers will live in a module consisting of a kitchen, private rooms, an exercise room, two bathrooms and a crop area. They will also receive a special space meal here.

The study will examine how individuals respond to a "long-term ground simulation routine" and provide important data for the development of specific solutions and systems validation.

Commenting on the missions, Grace Douglas, NASA's chief scientist for advanced food technology research, said: “Analog is key to testing solutions to meet the complex needs of life on the surface of Mars. Simulations on Earth will help us understand and face the physical and mental challenges that astronauts will face before taking off. ”


NASA is looking for healthy and motivated candidates who are US citizens or permanent residents. Must be between 30 and 55 years old, non-smokers and fluent in English.

Successful candidates must have a master's degree in STEM or "biological, physical chip computer science from an accredited institution and at least two years' professional experience in STEM" or at least 1 000 hours of pilot experience. Graduates of a two-year study program in the field of STEM, a medical field or a program for test pilots will also be taken into account, as well as people with a bachelor's degree in STEM or training of a military officer with four years of professional experience.

The finalists will undergo a medical examination, psychiatric examination and physiological screening to "determine suitability for a physically and mentally demanding long-term isolated mission."


Applications are currently being accepted until September 17, 2021. Participants will be compensated and will receive further information during the selection process. The selection of the crew will follow the standard criteria that NASA uses for its candidates for astronauts.

Artistic rendering of agriculture on Mars

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