NASA is looking for volunteers to participate in a simulated mission to Mars for a year (but warns of certain risks)

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NASA is looking for four volunteers who will be paid to spend a year in a completely isolated environment to simulate that they are on Mars, ad the US space agency in a statement.

As part of the preparations for an eventual shipment of astronauts to the red planet, NASA has opened a call for study “real life challenges” those that humanity will face away from Earth. The project will consist of three similar missions of one year each, with the first starting in autumn 2022. The results will provide important scientific data to validate systems and develop solutions to potential problems.

Each mission will be made up of four volunteers who will remain in a Martian module called Mars Dune Alpha of approximately 158 square meters, 3D printed. The habitat that will simulate the stay on Mars is built at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

“It is critical to testing solutions that meet the complex needs of living on the Martian surface. Simulations on Earth will help us understand and counteract the physical and mental challenges astronauts will face before departing,” explained Grace Douglas, a department scientist. of Advanced Food Technology of NASA.

The environment will simulate the challenges of a mission on the red planet, including resource constraints, equipment failures, communication delays, and other stressors. The crew’s tasks may include ‘spacewalks’, scientific research, use of virtual reality, robotic controls and communication exchange, the agency explains.

The call was opened this Friday and those interested will be able to register until September 17. However, NASA recalls that people must meet a series of requirements to be part of this experiment, while warning of certain risks that participants may be subject to, including loss of privacy, physical injury, or a slim chance of death. At the moment, the amount that the winners will receive has not been revealed.

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