Would You Let NASA Lock You Up in a Fake Mars Habitat for a Year?

Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/NASA

If we’re ever going to send people to Mars, we’re going to have to deal with one big problem: We just don’t know what will happen to the human body there. Human beings have never ventured beyond the moon, so when we finally set foot on another planet we’ll have to deal with eating strange food, living in a tiny box, and tromping across miles of dusty desert in a spacesuit. If these future explorers are going to have any chance of survival, we’ll need to know more about Mars might do to their bodies and their minds.

Space agencies like NASA aren’t big on leaping into the unknown, so they’re already trying to predict what effects a Mars mission might have on the human body. It’s not easy to guess that in advance—but one way they’re trying to learn about these consequences is through analog (or closely similar) missions.

The Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA) mission will begin next month, with four crew members entering a 1,700 square foot enclosed bubble at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Specifically, they’ll live in a 3D-printed habitat with a 1,200 square foot Mars-like sandbox where they’ll perform simulated missions, all to see what it would be like for a real crew to live on the red planet.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Source: The Daily Beast

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