The Morning After: Want to live in NASA’s Mars simulation for a year?

— Mat Smith

NASA wants volunteers for its second year-long simulated Mars mission, the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA 2). For the mission’s duration, starting spring 2025, the four selected crew members will live in a 1,700-square-foot 3D-printed habitat in Houston. It’s paid, but we don’t know how much. At least living costs will be nil.

The Mars Dune Alpha habitat at NASA’s Johnson Space Center simulates life for future explorers on the red planet, where the environment is harsh and resources limited.

Applicants must be US citizens aged 30 to 55, speak English proficiently and have a master’s degree in a STEM field, plus at least two years of professional experience, a minimum of one thousand hours piloting an aircraft. Or two years of work toward a STEM doctoral program.

I barely qualify for two of those requirements — good luck to the rest of you.


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