“Astronauts” Simulate Life on Mars!
By: Alan Guo
Four volunteers will be in a 3D-printed Mars simulator at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and will use equipment that might one day be used on the actual surface of Mars.
The four volunteers were selected from a crowd of over 4,000 applicants. They will spend the year inside a far away, 1,700 square-foot (158 sq. meters) 3D-printed area. It includes private crew quarters, a kitchen, and two bathrooms. The sandy landscape also has dedicated work, recreation, and fitness centers. Each of the volunteers has a separate job, just like in a true mission. Kelly Haston will be the mission commander, Ross Brockwell will stand as the engineer, and Nathan Jones is the medical officer. Don’t forget Anca Selariu! She is the science officer.
This will be a very good trial to see if astronauts could potentially survive in the actual Martian atmosphere. They will perform various tasks including farming their crops and completing science experiments. Also, challenging problems might happen like system overload, amongst other things. To monitor the crew’s health, they will use cameras and movement trackers. "The simulation will allow us to collect cognitive and physical performance data to give us more insight into the potential impacts of long-duration missions to Mars on crew health and performance," said CHAPEA's principal investigator, Grace Douglas. "Ultimately, this information will help NASA make informed decisions to design and plan for a successful human mission to Mars."
Still, we might never know what might happen to an actual Mars mission crew.