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NASA seeks volunteers for a paid, yearlong simulated Mars mission

NASA is getting ready for the next phase of Mars exploration, and they’re inviting regular folks to join the mission. Recently, the space agency announced they’re looking for qualified individuals to participate in a yearlong simulated journey to the Red Planet.

Volunteers will get the chance to live and work at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, inside a special habitat called Mars Dune Alpha. Suzanne Bell, who leads NASA’s Behavioral Health and Performance Laboratory, described it as an amazing opportunity for science lovers to make a real contribution.

The mission, part of NASA’s Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog program, is scheduled to run for 378 days starting in Spring 2025. According to Bell, the simulation will recreate the challenges astronauts would face on a real Mars mission, like limited resources, equipment problems, and communication delays.

Participants in the four-person team will take part in activities such as simulated spacewalks, operating robots, and maintaining the habitat. NASA is looking for applicants who are adventurous and interested in helping with Mars exploration.

The ongoing CHAPEA mission, currently in its 242nd day, is providing valuable insights into how humans cope in space. Bell stressed the importance of gathering data from multiple missions to better understand the needs of future astronauts.

To be eligible, applicants must be healthy, nonsmoking U.S. citizens or permanent residents aged 30 to 55, fluent in English, and hold a master’s degree in a STEM field or have relevant experience. While participants will be compensated, the exact details will be discussed during the screening process.

In summary, NASA is seeking regular people with qualities similar to astronauts to take part in this groundbreaking research project.

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