The agency is looking for healthy, non-smoking U.S. citizens between the ages of 30-55 years old who have a master’s degree in a STEM field to volunteer for the Mars simulation project. The qualifications are similar for typical astronaut candidates -- but this is not a mission into outer space.
The experience will put the selected volunteers into a 1,700 square foot bunker environment for one year at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The first simulation is set to begin in the fall of 2022.
Officials say volunteers will be split up into teams of four to conduct science experiments, practice communications with Earth and even simulate space walks.
NASA hopes that the lessons learned during the simulation will help prepare them for real-life challenges posed by future missions to Mars.