Volunteers who lived in a NASA-created Mars replica for over a year have emerged

Written by on July 8, 2024

Four volunteers, part of NASA’s Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA) mission, have emerged after spending over a year in a Mars simulation environment at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The team, consisting of Kelly Haston, Anca Selariu, Ross Brockwell, and Nathan Jones, lived in a 1,700-square-foot 3D-printed habitat from June 25, 2023, to July 6, 2024. They grew their own vegetables, maintained equipment, conducted “Marswalks,” and endured stressors like 22-minute communication delays with Earth to mimic real Mars conditions.

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The 378-day mission aimed to study human resilience and performance in a Martian-like environment, as part of NASA’s broader plan to send astronauts to Mars by the 2030s. This mission is the first of three planned by NASA, with the next set to start in spring 2025. Reflecting on the mission, CHAPEA science officer Anca Selariu emphasized the significance of space exploration, stating, “Because it’s possible. Because space can unite and bring out the best in us.” This effort builds on NASA’s history of conducting isolation experiments to prepare for long-duration space missions.

Source: NPR


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