by The Chicago Times Staff

August 6, 2021

HOUSTON — NASA began accepting applications for four people to live in Mars Dune Alpha for a year on Friday, in preparation for eventually sending astronauts to Mars.  This is a 1,700-square-foot Martian habitat created with a 3D printer and housed inside a building at Houston’s Johnson Space Center.  The paid volunteers will participate in a simulated Martian exploration mission that will include spacewalks, limited communications with home, limited food and resources, and equipment failures.

NASA is planning three of these experiments, the first of which will begin in the fall of next year.

Food will be ready-to-eat space food, and no windows are currently planned.  The application period began on Friday, and they are not looking for just anyone.

The qualifications are stringent, including a master’s degree in a science, engineering, or math field, as well as pilot experience.  Only American citizens or permanent residents of the United States are eligible.  Applicants must be between the ages of 30 and 55, in good physical health, with no dietary restrictions, and not prone to motion sickness.

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