Spoiler alert: not much.
Four individuals have agreed to be isolated inside the 1,700-square-foot Mars habitat at NASA’s Johnson Space Center to study what it would be like to live on the Red Planet and how humans might learn to adapt in that harsh environment.
During their 378-day stay, which officially began earlier this week, they’ll have a surprisingly busy schedule, including a rigorous exercise regimen as well as a long list of duties, from running simulated spacewalks to growing crops.
In other words, it’s a daunting task and bound to be tough on the crew of four.
But they don’t lose just over a year of their life without compensation. NASA pays each participant $10 per hour for all waking hours Houston Chronicle reportswhich adds up to just over $60,000 for the entire 378-day task.
All things considered, it seems a bit low for such a hardcore gig – but then again, it’s all for humanity’s interplanetary future.
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The crew includes research scientist Kelly Haston, structural engineer Ross Brockwell, emergency medicine physician Nathan Jones, and US Navy microbiologist Anka Celario.
“It’s definitely going to be tough,” Brockwell said. Chronicle, “But that’s why we’re doing it. How do we learn to deal with that is some of the most important information they’ll get from this study.”
However, Jones was worried about something else entirely.
“Something is going to break in my house with my family, like a lawnmower or something, and I’m not going to be there to fix it,” he told the newspaper. “I think it will be easy to get homesick when that happens.”
Meanwhile, Haston was excited at the prospect of actually getting her hands dirty.
“Being a scientist and also a test subject is actually a really unique and wonderful situation,” she told L.L.C Chronicle.
More about the mission: NASA is locking test subjects inside a simulated Mars base
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