Mars: ‘Absolutely’ there is life on red planet says expert
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The US space agency is calling on four people to test a 3D-printed module that could one day house Earth’s first Mars colonists. As NASA ramps up its efforts to return humans to the Moon and then Mars, key technology is being tested to ensure the survival of these pioneering astronauts. One of these technologies is Mars Dune Alpha, a 1,700-square-foot module built by the Texas-based firm ICON.
The mission is expected to kick off in the autumn of 2022 and will simulate a year-long mission on the Red Planet.
The goal of the endeavour is to better understand what survival on Mars will look like – and whether small groups of explorers are up for the task.
NASA will assemble the Mars module at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, cutting off the volunteers from the outside world.
The module will feature private rooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, gym and space to grow crops.
NASA is looking for volunteers for a Mars habitat simulation (Image: NASA)
NASA will test the 3D-printed Mars Dune Alpha habitat by ICON (Image: ICON)
In total, NASA will conduct three of these experiments with the first kicking off in the autumn of 2022.
NASA has officially dubbed this series of year-long tests the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog.
Grace Douglas, lead scientists of NASA’s Advanced Food Technology, said: “The analogue is critical for testing solutions to meet the complex needs of living on the Martian surface.
“Simulations on Earth will help us understand and counter the physical and mental challenges astronauts will face before they go.”
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This is not going to be a lush holiday in Texas.
As part of the experiment, NASA will simulate a number of potentially catastrophic scenarios such as equipment failure, communication delays and other stress factors.
The four volunteers will also be tasked with undertaking simulated spacewalks, experiments and other life on Mars tasks astronauts will have to perform.
The results, NASA said, will give scientists critical insight into its future Mars exploration efforts.
All of the robotic rovers NASA has landed on Mars over the years (Image: EXPRESS)
NASA’s prototype Mars exploration vehicle (Image: NASA)
How to apply for NASA’s life on Mars simulation?
There is a list of strict criteria you will need to tick off before you can even consider applying.
NASA’s ideal volunteers will be healthy US citizens or permanent residents aged 30 to 55-years-old.
You have to be a non-smoker and be proficient in the English language, as well as boasting effective communications skills.
NASA’s crew selection criteria will match the space agency’s astronaut selection process – and that is an incredibly tough nut to crack.
Candidates need to have a master’s degree in a STEM subject such as engineering and mathematics, or biological, physical or computer sciences with at least two years of experience.
Alternatively, candidates will have accrued one thousand hours piloting an aircraft.
NASA will also consider candidates who have completed two years of work towards a doctoral program in STEM or have completed a medical degree or test pilot programme.
NASA added: “Additionally, with four years of professional experience, applicants who have completed military officer training or a Bachelor of Science in a STEM field may be considered.”
If you think you match the criteria, you can apply by clicking here.
Applications are being accepted from August 6 through to September 17.
Finalists will have to undergo strict medical and psychological screening.