Four volunteers were locked up in a simulated Mars habitat for a year

On Sunday, four researchers don black suits and enter a red world where they will spend a year living and working in a simulated environment on Mars.

Home to NASA’s CHAPEA, or Crew Health and Performance Exploration analogue, welcomed Its guest volunteers this week, who are set to spend 378 days in the closed, Mars-like world to help the space agency prepare for future missions to REd bI lanit.

“I feel incredibly fortunate and blessed to be part of this crew and mission,” research scientist Kelly Haston, one of the four participants in the ongoing study, said during a press briefing before entering the habitat. “It is a professional and personal advantage to be a scientist and test subject and to produce data that may enable new methods and safer journeys into space.”

Hutson with structural engineer Ross Brockwell and emergency physician Nathan Jones US Navy microbiologist Anka Celario was selected in April for the study. NASA has sent a Call for volunteers in 2021 for “healthy, motivated” U.S. citizens between the ages of 30 and 55 to participate in the first mission in three years.

The 3D-printed 1,700-square-foot habitat is located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. It has a kitchen, two bathrooms, private bedrooms and a work area as well as an entertainment area for socializing.

“The habitat will simulate important challenges on Mars, including limited resources, equipment failures, communications delays, and other environmental stresses,” NASA wrote in a letter. statement.

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Inside the simulated Mars environment, the four volunteers will carry out various activities as if they were on a mission to Mars, including simulated spacewalks, robotic operations, habitat maintenance, personal hygiene, exercise, and crop growth.

Analogs are critical to testing solutions to meet the complex needs of living on Mars.Grace Douglas, chief scientist for NASA’s advanced food technology research effort at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a statement. statement. “Simulations on Earth will help us understand and address the physical and mental challenges astronauts will face before they go.”

Habitat includes four individual living quarters for the volunteer crew.

Habitat includes four individual living quarters for the volunteer crew.
picture: NASA/Bill Stafford

NASA with the help of its international partners, Ponder the end Sending humans to Mars and possibly a sustainable establishmentIf the existence of astronauts in habitats on the neighboring planet Earth. Mars is a dry, barren desert with a thin layer of carbon dioxide-The weather and freezing temperatures are filled during the winter. these others-Mundane factors will likely make astronauts’ time on Mars a little difficult, which is why the space agency wants to be prepared for the challenges ahead.

“The simulation will allow us to collect cognitive and physical performance data to give us more insight into the potential effects of long-duration missions to Mars on crew health and performance,” Douglas said. “Ultimately, this information will help NASA make informed decisions to design and plan a successful human mission to Mars.”

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