NASA recently announced a Mars habitat simulation experiment, four volunteers will spend a year in this habitat built with 3D printing technology, in order to prepare for the human landing on Mars.
The simulation is part of NASA’s Health and Exploration Performance for Astronauts (CHAPEA) program, which is designed to explore the challenges of landing humans on Mars. NASA is currently working on the Artemis program to send humans to the moon again and to use these technologies to prepare for a trip to Mars.
The four volunteers are not professional astronauts, but they will be trained to simulate what might happen in a Martian environment, including habitat maintenance, robotic operations and “Mars walks. They will also face realistic stressful situations, such as limited resources and equipment failure, and they will grow vegetables, conserve water, maintain hygiene and be isolated from the outside world in their habitats. In addition, volunteers will have to endure isolation and confinement during the year. At the same time, scientists will monitor their mental health and the social dynamics of the foursome.
The simulation experiment will begin in June this year at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The four volunteers will live for a year in a 3D-printed Mars simulation habitat, a habitat printed out by a giant 3D printer called Mars Dune Alpha, which covers about 160 square meters and has a dining room, living room, workroom, medical room and two airlock doors.
NASA says the simulation experiment will provide valuable data and experience for future real Mars missions, helping humans achieve their goal of long-term survival and work in space.