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Why NASA is looking for candidates to simulate life on Mars

Do you dream of living on Mars? Then this mission is for you. NASA is looking for volunteers to simulate life on the Red Planet. The US Space Agency is already planning for a possible manned flight to Mars in a few decades. 

NASA has just launched a somewhat special call for applications: it is recruiting volunteers to simulate life on Mars. They will live for a year in a 150-square-meter prefab, housed in the US Space Agency’s center in Texas. The objective: to test the physical and psychological challenges that would be faced by astronauts on a mission on the Red Planet.

« Testing interactions between people left to their own devices »

How much water, carbon dioxide or food is needed for a trip to Mars? How much waste is produced? These are the main questions for NASA. For Michel Viso, specialist in astrobiology, joined by Europe 1, the American Space Agency needs « to test the interactions between people left on their own ».

To apply, there are still some conditions. You must be between 30 and 55 years old, American nationality and a degree in mathematics, physics or engineering. The four successful candidates will live independently for one year. They will only communicate with each other or with robots.

Measure needs to the nearest gram

Even if a real expedition to the red planet is not on the agenda for the moment, this simulation remains an important step. « It is necessary to start now to calculate a certain number of things under real operational conditions », assures Michel Viso. Before specifying: « if we are short of oxygen or short of water on Mars, there will be a real problem! »

Measuring requirements to the nearest gram also serves to minimize the cost of future missions. They require large financial investments. And especially time: space agencies do not plan human space flights to Mars before 2040.

Source : Europe 1

Par Jules Bercy

A writer a blogger passionate about science, history politics, the general knowledge of our planet and the Universe...

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