Martians Wanted: NASA opens call for year-long Mars mission simulation

NASA is looking for applicants to participate in its upcoming one-year Mars surface mission to help inform the agency's plans for human exploration of the Red Planet. The second of three planned ground missions called CHAPEA (Crew Health Analogue and Performance Exploration) is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2025.

Each CHAPEA mission involves a four-person volunteer crew living and working inside a 1,700-square-foot 3D-printed habitat headquartered at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The habitat, called Mars Dune Alpha, simulates the challenges of a mission on Mars, including limited resources, equipment failure, communications delays, and other environmental stressors. Crew duties include spacewalk simulations, robotic operations, habitat maintenance, exercises, and crop growth.

NASA is looking for healthy, motivated U.S. citizens or permanent residents, non-smokers, between the ages of 30 and 55, who are proficient in the English language for effective communication among crewmates and mission control. Applicants must have a strong desire for unique and rewarding adventures and an interest in contributing to NASA's work to prepare for the first human mission to Mars.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 2 April.

Crew selection will follow NASA's additional standard criteria for astronaut candidate applicants. A master's degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field such as engineering, mathematics, biological or physical sciences, or computer science from an accredited institution is required with at least two years of professional STEM experience or at least one thousand An hour of driving the plane. Candidates who have completed two years of work in a STEM doctoral program, have a medical degree, or a pilot testing program will also be considered. With four years of professional experience, applicants who have completed Military Officer Training or a Bachelor of Science degree in a STEM field may be considered.

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Compensation for participation in the mission is available. More information will be provided during the screening process of candidates.

As NASA works to establish a long-term scientific discovery and exploration presence on the Moon through the Artemis campaign, CHAPEA missions provide critical science data to validate systems and develop solutions for future missions to the Red Planet. With the first CHAPEA crew more than halfway through its year-long mission, NASA is using research gained through simulation missions to help inform crew health and support performance during Mars missions.

Under NASA's Artemis campaign, the agency will establish the foundation for long-term scientific exploration of the Moon, land the first woman, the first person of color, and its first international astronaut partner on the Moon, and prepare for human missions to Mars for the Moon. Benefit everyone.

For more information about CHAPEA, visit:


Rachel Kraft
Headquarters, Washington
[email protected]

Anna Schneider/Laura Sorto
Johnson Space Center in Houston
[email protected]/[email protected]

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