Four humans will live on Mars this summer as part of a year-long mission. This mission aims to prepare humans to explore the planet. The four volunteers will be living in a habitat that replicates the conditions of Mars.
The entire habitat is 3D-printed and will include private crew quarters, a kitchen and dedicated areas for medical, recreation, fitness, work and crop growth activities, a technical work area and two bathrooms. The crew is scheduled to begin in June this year as the team has acquired the most accurate data during the analog mission.
“During the simulation, crew members will carry out different types of mission activities, including simulated spacewalks, robotic operations, habitat maintenance, personal hygiene, exercise, and crop growth,” Nasa said in a statement.
The crew will also face environmental pressures with resource limitations, isolation, and equipment failure in order to be as close to the situation on Mars when humans arrive.
“The major crew activities during the analog may consist of simulated spacewalks including virtual reality, communications, crop growth, meal preparation and consumption, exercise, hygiene activities, maintenance work, personal time, science work, and sleep,” Nasa has said in its mission brief.
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Crew members will spend time remotely operating robotic elements, which will likely be necessary for real crews on Mars to extend their exploration capabilities. They will also be responsible for controlling a helicopter-like drone and a roving robot. NASA is planning three such analog missions to enhance their understanding of the requirements for habitat on Mars.
“We’re really looking at how the crew performance and health changes based on realistic Mars restrictions and the lifestyle of the crew members. So, the lifestyle is what we’re trying to simulate by setting up a realistic environment and workload for the CHAPEA crew,” Raina MacLeod, CHAPEA deputy project manager said.