NASA is seeking applicants for participation as a crew member during the first one-year analog mission in a habitat to simulate life on a distant world, set to begin in Fall 2022. As NASA ventures farther into the cosmos, the astronaut experience will change. In preparation for the real-life challenges of future missions to Mars, NASA will study how highly motivated individuals respond under the rigor of a long-duration, ground-based simulation. The series of missions – known as Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog – includes three one-year Mars surface simulations based at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Each mission will consist of four crew members living and working in a 1,700-square-foot module 3D-printed by ICON, called Mars Dune Alpha. The habitat will simulate the challenges of a mission on Mars, including resource limitations, equipment failure, communication delays, and other environmental stressors. Crew selection will follow standard NASA criteria for astronaut candidate applicants.