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An astronaut standing on top of and surrounded by red rocks as part of an article about openings for a simulated Mars mission with NASA.

If a simulated Mars mission sounds right up your alley, you might just be in luck. But conditions apply…

Have you ever wanted to experience what life might be like living on Mars?

Are you keen to escape the real world for 12 months?

Well, NASA has an opportunity for you!

Last week, the US space agency announced that applications were open for potential candidates to participate in its next simulated one-year Mars surface mission.

The operation is designed to “help inform NASA’s plans for human exploration of the Red Planet”.


Close up of the planet Mars against a black background.

Experience what it’s like to live on the Red Planet. Credit: Planet Volumes on Unsplash.

Simulated Mars Mission Number Two

This is the second of three planned ground-based simulated Mars missions, called CHAPEA (Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog).

Each CHAPEA assignment involves a four-person crew living and working inside a 158-square-metre, 3D-printed habitat based at NASA’s famous Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.

“Applicants should have a strong desire for unique, rewarding adventures and interest in contributing to NASA’s work to prepare for the first human journey to Mars,” the company said in a statement on its website.

“The habitat, called the Mars Dune Alpha, simulates the challenges of a mission on Mars, including resource limitations, equipment failures, communication delays, and other environmental stressors.”

Among the listed tasks for successful applicants are simulated spacewalks, robotic operations, habitat maintenance, exercise, and crop growth.


Part of the Apollo 16 space shuttle on display at NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Place of employment: NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas. Credit: Gower Brown on Unsplash.

Apply Now – If You Fit the Criteria

But there is a catch, so don’t go handing in your resignation letter just yet.

Applications for the simulated Mars mission are limited to US citizens or permanent residents only – ideally aged between 30-55 years old, and non-smokers.

Oh, then there is the minor detail around “standard NASA criteria for astronaut candidate applicants” that includes a master’s degree in a STEM field from an accredited institution “with at least two years of professional STEM experience or a minimum of one thousand hours piloting an aircraft”.

What does a job like this pay? Well, NASA is light on details, only declaring that “more information will be provided during the candidate screening process”.

But estimates suggest it’s somewhere in the ballpark of $AU 90,000.

And while we can’t confirm the employment conditions, we assume this isn’t the ideal role for those looking to work from home on a frequent basis.

The simulated Mars mission is scheduled to launch next year.

Do the stars align for you? If so, apply now. Applications for this simulated Mars mission close on Tuesday, 2 April (US CTD time).


A globe object featuring the NASA logo at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, USA.

It’s your chance to work for a company with strong brand awareness. Credit: AK on Unsplash.

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From simulated Mars missions to so much more… our blog is packed with the latest marketing, branding, and tech news, tips, and expert insights. Or for more updates, follow Hunt & Hawk on LinkedIn