NASA seeks applicants who will spend a year in a 3D printed 'Mars' habitat

NASA is seeking applicants who are willing to spend a year living in its 3D-printed Mars habitat analog simulation, the first of three planned analog missions intended to simulate what it would be like living in a similar structure on Mars. According to the space agency, these ground-based missions will help the agency mitigate potential issues that could arise during future space missions.

The 3D-printed Mars habitat module was created by ICON and it's named Mars Dune Alpha. The habitat is 1,700sqft and will be home to four crew members over the course of a year. The applicants who are selected to participate in this mission will need to perform tasks that simulate the ones astronauts may perform on Mars.

This includes, for example, exchanging communications with the NASA JPL team, as well as simulated spacewalks and scientific research. Various challenges that may be encountered during a future space mission will also be part of this test, examples of which include equipment failure and "environmental stressors."

The opportunity is available to people who are citizens or permanent residents of the US who are ages 30 to 55, non-smokers, and proficient in English. NASA says it will use its standard criteria for astronaut candidate applicants, meaning there are some major educational and credential requirements.

For example, applicants must have at least 1,000 hours spent piloting an aircraft or a master's degree with at least two years of professional experience in a STEM field. As well, the applicants must have at least two years of work in a STEM doctoral program, a completed medical degree, or a test pilot program.

Crew applications will be accepted until September 17. The full list of requirements and details on how to apply can be found on NASA's website.