NASA is seeking applicants for a simulated one-year Mars surface mission. The catch? You never leave Earth.

Rob Spiegel

March 20, 2024

1 Min Read
Mars mission simulation
NASA/Josh Valcarce

At a Glance

  • Simulated Mars mission
  • A year of isolation and testing

NASA wants you to participate in its simulated one-year Mars surface mission. The goal is to help develop NASA’s plans for human exploration of the Red Planet. The second of three planned ground-based missions called CHAPEA (Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog) is scheduled to kick off in spring 2025.

Each CHAPEA mission involves a four-person volunteer crew living and working inside a 1,700-square-foot, 3D-printed habitat. The mission is a long way from Mars, it all takes place at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The habitat, called the Mars Dune Alpha, simulates the challenges of a Mars mission, including resource limitations, equipment failures, communication delays, and other environmental stressors. The crew will spend the year doing tasks such as simulated spacewalks, robotic operations, habitat maintenance, exercise, and crop growth.

NASA is looking for healthy, motivated US citizens or permanent residents who are 30-55 years old and proficient in English for effective communication between crewmates and mission control. Applicants should have a strong desire for unique, rewarding adventures and interest in contributing to NASA’s work to prepare for the first human journey to Mars.

The deadline for applicants is Tuesday, April 2.

About the Author(s)

Rob Spiegel

Rob Spiegel serves as a senior editor for Design News. He started with Design News in 2002 as a freelancer and hired on full-time in 2011. He covers automation, manufacturing, 3D printing, robotics, AI, and more.

Prior to Design News, he worked as a senior editor for Electronic News and Ecommerce Business. He has contributed to a wide range of industrial technology publications, including Automation World, Supply Chain Management Review, and Logistics Management. He is the author of six books.

Before covering technology, Rob spent 10 years as publisher and owner of Chile Pepper Magazine, a national consumer food publication.

As well as writing for Design News, Rob also participates in IME shows, webinars, and ebooks.

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