Want to pretend you’ve lived on Mars for a year? NASA is now accepting applications
Want to find Matt Damon inside you and pretend you’ve been isolated on Mars for a year? NASA has a job for you.
To prepare to eventually send astronauts to Mars, NASA began submitting an application Friday for four people to live on Mars Alpha Dione for a year. This is a 1,700-square-foot home on Mars, made with a 3D printer and in a building at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Hired volunteers will work on a simulation mission to explore Mars, complete with spacewalks, limited home communications, limited food and resources, and equipment failures.
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NASA is planning three of these experiments, the first of which will begin in the fall of next year. The food will be space food ready and no ramen is planned at this time. Some plants will be planted, but not potatoes as in the movie “The Mars”. Damon played stranded astronaut Mark Watney, who survived a potato.
“We want to understand how people are performing on it,” said Grace Douglas, chief scientist. “We’re looking at real-world situations for Mars.”
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The application process opened on Friday and they are not just looking for someone. Requirements are stringent, including a master’s degree in a field of science, engineering, mathematics, or experimental experience. Only US citizens or permanent residents of the United States are eligible. Applicants must be between 30 and 55 years of age, be in good physical health, not have nutritional problems, and be free of motion sickness.
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Former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield said this shows that NASA is looking for people close to the astronauts. And he said. That’s a good thing, because it’s a better experience if the participants are more like people who actually go to Mars. He said previous Russian efforts on a hypothetical mission to Mars called the Mars 500 did not end well, in part because humans are so similar to humans.
For the right person, it might be cool, Hadfield, who spent five months in orbit on the International Space Station, said, playing guitar and singing a video on the cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”
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“Just think about how much you can catch up on Netflix,” he said. “If they have a musical instrument there, you can go there without knowing anything and buy a musical instrument, if you want to.”
There can be “incredible freedom” in “a year without the demands of your normal life.”
Hadfield, who released “The Apollo Murders” in the fall, said attitude is key. He said contestants should be like Damon Watney’s character: “He’s super efficient, resourceful and doesn’t depend on others to feel comfortable.”
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