If you think you can stomach being away from anything you’ve ever known for a year straight, NASA might have the perfect job opening for you. Friday, the space-faring agency revealed it’s looking for paid volunteers for a series of experiments that sound like they were ripped straight out of Bio-Dome. As the outfit begins serious preparations for exploration on Mars, it’s looking for a group of scientists that is willing to live in a controlled 1,700 square foot habitat at the Johnson Space Center in Houston with an environment mimicking that of the Red Planet.
As of now, NASA has three separate series of experiments planned with four participants in each group. The first group is expected to begin their year-long cycle next fall.
“To obtain the most accurate data during the analog, the habitat will be as Mars-realistic as feasible, which may include environmental stressors such as resource limitations, isolation, equipment failure, and significant workloads,” NASA says on the project’s website. “The major crew activities during the analog may consist of simulated spacewalks including virtual reality, communications, crop growth, meal preparation and consumption, exercise, hygiene activities, maintenance work, personal time, science work, and sleep.”
Before you get too excited, NASA does have some pretty steep requirements in place for any potential applications. In addition to having a master’s degree in a science or tech-related field (including engineering, biological science, computer science or mathmatics), applicants must also be able to pass the same physical NASA astronauts do. On top of all that still, applicants must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident and be between the ages of 30 and 55.
The cherry on top is an additional two years of professional experience in the STEM field your degree is. In lieu of that, NASA is accepting 1,000 pilot-in-command time as a substitute. The group has also packed its fine-print to the brim with automatic disqualifies such as food allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, or prescriptions to a plethora of different medicines, including those that regular blood pressure, ADHD, antidepressants, anixety medications, and more.
More information on NASA’s latest efforts to get to Mars can be found on the CHAPEA site here.