NASA are looking for people who are willing to take self isolation to the next level and allow themselves to be locked up for eight months in a Russian laboratory – as an experiment for future trips to Mars.
Because of the distance (225 million kilometres to Mars, 384 400 km to the Moon) and the time it takes to reach Mars, as well as the lengthy periods which astronauts will spend conducting scientific research, NASA believes it vital to first study the effect which living in cramped spaces for prolonged periods will have on people.
As NASA puts it, they want to “learn about the physiological and psychological effects of isolation and confinement on humans in preparation for Artemis exploration missions to the Moon and future long-duration missions to Mars.”
Could you do 8 months at the Institute for Biomedical Problems?
The program will take place in Moscow, at Russia’s Institute for Biomedical Problems. This facility has previously been used for mock space missions.
During eight months of isolation, the small group of participants will use virtual reality to perform tasks similar to that on a space mission. Research will meanwhile be conducted by NASA to study the effects of isolation and confinement, so that they can develop solutions to any potential problems.
“Results from ground-based missions like this help NASA prepare for the real-life challenges of space exploration and provide important scientific data to solve some of these problems and to develop countermeasures,” read part of a statement on the NASA website.
NASA are accepting public applications for the position. They want “highly motivated” U.S. citizens between the ages of 30-55, who are fluent in Russian and English. No specific qualifications needed, but applicants should have an M.S, PhD, M.D or military officer training. People with Bachelor’s degrees and other relevant experience will also be considered.
Individuals selected for the program will be paid: “There are different levels of compensation depending upon whether or not you are associated with NASA or if you are a NASA employee or contractor.”
Those interested in the job can apply HERE.
The upcoming research program is a follow up to a 2019 program when four Russians and two Americans were put on a four-month simulated ‘trip’ to the Moon and back.
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Image credit: © ESA & NASA and the Institute for Biomedical Problems