For the first time to recruit volunteers “isolated” simulated Martian year of life
on Mars, what would life and work status? What challenges will future Mars missions face?
Recently, NASA has publicly recruited 4 volunteers who are interested in life on Mars. The selected candidates will start a one-year simulation mission of life on Mars at NASA Johnson Space Center to explore Mars for real astronauts in the future. Be prepared for the task.
The project will be based on three experiments on the surface state of Mars at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and will be included in the “Crew Health and Performance Exploration Simulation (CHAPEA)” series of missions. The first phase of the mission will begin in the fall of 2022, and the next two phases are planned to be launched in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Grace Douglas, chief scientist of NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s Advanced Food Technology Research Project, said,
“Simulation is essential for testing solutions to meet the complex needs of living on the surface of Mars. Simulating Martian life on Earth will help us. Understand and respond to the real situation of life on Mars.”
What does the 3D printed simulated “Mars base” look like?
The project is called “Alpha Mars Hill”, designed by the construction company BIG-BJARKE INGELS (BIG) Group, and executed by the construction 3D printing company ICON. It uses Lavacrete materials and 3D printers to build it by layer by layer. “We are working with NASA and ICON to study the impact of humans’ home life on another planet. Alpha Mars hills will bring us one step closer to becoming a multi-planetary species.” Founder of BIG Group And creative director Bijak Ingles said.
The experimental project consists of 4 crew members and 2 alternate members. They will live and work “isolated” in a 1,700 square feet (about 158 square meters) 3D printing space. The space includes: crew quarters, Dedicated workstations, dedicated medical stations, public rest areas, kitchens and food planting stations.
“Mars Base” 3D printing process
In the Mars base, the selected crew will simulate the various challenges of life on Mars, including limited food, equipment failure, communication delays, and other environmental pressures. They will perform tasks such as simulating spacewalks, scientific research, using VR and robot control, and exchanging communications with the earth.
The simulation mission will provide valuable scientific data for evaluating NASA’s space food system and the physical condition, behavioral health and performance results of future astronauts. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will provide information on risks and resource transactions based on the research results to evaluate the health and performance of astronauts on long-term missions on Mars.
So, why did NASA choose 3D printing materials and related technologies to simulate a Mars base? The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said, “I want to completely simulate the real Martian architecture in the future.”
Alpha Mars Dune Part of Space
Plan of the Alpha Mars Dune Project
If humans really want to live and work on Mars, they must consider factors such as construction costs, materials, and portability. The most suitable technology may be additive construction. Compared with traditional building materials, 3D printing is cheaper and can also solve the problem of carrying a large amount of building materials in flight.
The Alpha Mars Dune will simulate the state of life in the habitat on the surface of Mars in the future, and its layout is designed to provide an independent area for life and work in the habitat.
According to ICON’s official introduction, “The irregular ceiling height and the vertically segmented arch shell structure highlight the unique experience of each area to avoid the monotony of the space and crew fatigue. The combination of fixed and movable furniture will allow the crew to follow Their daily needs to reshape their habitats, customizable lighting, temperature and sound control will also help regulate daily life, circadian rhythm, and the health of all crew members.” “The Martian life simulation on Earth will help us in astronauts Before you set off, understand and deal with the physical and psychological challenges you will face.” Douglas said.
Who can apply for registration?
What are the specific requirements for these volunteers recruited by NASA? According to the official website of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States, the requirements for recruiting volunteers for the project must meet the requirements of being healthy, not prone to motion sickness, no eating problems, non-smokers, American citizens or permanent residents aged between 30 and 55 years old and proficient in English. In addition, the selection of crew members will follow NASA’s criteria for astronaut candidates.
In addition, volunteers who sign up need to obtain a master’s degree in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (four disciplines referred to as STEM) issued by an accredited institution, and have more than two years of STEM experience or more than 1,000 hours of aircraft driving experience.
Are the above requirements too strict? In this regard, Hardfield, a former Canadian astronaut, believes that “NASA is looking for participants with similar qualifications as astronauts. This is undoubtedly a good thing. Because of the former Russian Mars 500 (Mars 500) The reason why the simulation experiment is not effective is that the people who participated in the experiment are ordinary people.”
It is reported that all the expenses of the project will be paid by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the selected candidates will be paid for one year. In addition, NASA and ICON have also cooperated and launched the “Olympus Project” to research and develop space-based building systems to support future lunar exploration.