The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has sent out a call for people interested in spending eight months in a simulated space mission.
The space agency says the job requires applicants to agree to spend eight months in Moscow, Russia, where a small crew will be kept in isolation to mimic the conditions of potential future Moon and Mars missions.
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NASA's spaceflight simulation study is geared towards "learn[ing] about the physiological and psychological effects of isolation and confinement on humans" before the launch of the Artemis mission to the Moon, slated for 2024.
The Artemis program aims to bring astronauts back to the surface of the Moon for extensive exploration and research. Knowledge gained from the mission could then be used to prepare for potential Mars missions in the future.
As well as experiencing the confinement and isolation felt by astronauts in space, the crew will be kept busy by conducting scientific experiments, using virtual reality applications, and performing robotic tasks.
"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," the agency says.
NASA is asking for "healthy" US citizens to apply for the isolation program. Applicants need to be between 30 - 55 years old and have proficiency in both Russian and English, as well as an educational level of up to Ph.D. or, alternatively, military officer training. However, there is flexibility in these requirements for the right people.
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The agency has not revealed exactly how much participants can expect to be paid for the eight-month project, beyond that 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."
As the novel coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, NASA has made a point of noting the standard quarantine measures taken with crew members.
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In the same way that astronauts heading to the International Space Station (ISS) must stay in isolation for at least two weeks before launch, entrants to this program will also begin their mission with a quarantine period.
Interested parties can apply here.
In related news this month, a team of scientists at NASA revealed research into how nuclear power could potentially be used to power human colonies in space.
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