Are you loving the lockdown? Then you might be up for the ultimate challenge. NASA is sending humans to Mars soon, but exactly when, we still do not know.
Other space agencies around the world are preparing for that event, which involves a long trip, which could give astronauts psychological and physical problems. Now, scientists are trying to find how well humans will deal with being locked in a cramped spacecraft for several months.
That is why NASA is recruiting and willing to pay- though NASA is keeping it a secret- volunteers to spend eight months locked up in a simulated spacecraft on its way to Mars. The experiment will take place in Moscow, Russia. The experiment follows a similar study where a team of six people spent four months in a similar confined quarters.
Isolated for Eight Months
Unlike the lockdowns that the world is experiencing right now, the experiment will not be social isolation. Volunteers are expected to remain inside the fake spacecraft for the entire duration of eight months so that experts can study the effects of prolonged confinement on the human body.
One may question why NASA is suddenly doing this experiment when the space agency has already sent humans to the International Space Station for many months on end. Well, the answer is that the International Space Station might be larger than anyone thought.
When someone is sent to the space station, they still have a little bit of freedom because ISS has several modules and areas for recreation, downtime, and of course, for science. However, the first travelers to venture to Mars will have an entirely different experience than those in the ISS.
Although they will not be locked to their seats for eight months, but they will also not have the kind of freedom that astronauts in the International Space Station enjoy, BGR reports. They will be subjected to all the stresses and strains of an eight-month journey to Mars.
The Institute for Biomedical Problems, a Russian facility, has played host to a similar simulation before, the longest being an epic 520-day mission, which started in June 2010.
According to Daily Star, this new mission will have an international crew that will live together in isolation for eight months. They will use virtual reality headsets to control experimental robots and conduct other scientific experiments to show the effects of long-term isolation in an extended space mission.
Requirements and Compensation
The requirements for participation in the experiment include highly motivated U.S. Citizens who are 30-55 years old, proficient in English and Russian, and with an M.S., Ph.D., M.D., or completion of military officer training.
People with a Bachelor's degree and other specific qualifications like relevant additional education, military, or professional experience are also welcome to apply.
Admittedly, many will not be able to meet the requirements, but NASA will surely find the right candidates for this project. In terms of the payment. The space agency is somewhat vague on the details but promised that it differs upon whether someone is associated with NASA or an employee of the space agency or a contractor.