Ahead of NASA’s upcoming Artemis mission and its eventual goal of putting humans on Mars, the company has constructed a 3D-printed Mars habitat. More importantly, four people will live inside the biodome for an entire year.
NASA wants to send humans to Mars sometime in the 2030s. In preparation for those trips, this 3D-printed habitat is where necessary testing will be conducted. Inside the 1,700 square-foot Mars habitat, the four volunteers can wander through a giant sandbox, exercise on treadmills, relax in the lounge that even has a Playstation 4 available, and cook a bunch of meals in a specially outfitted kitchen.
According to Business Insider, when the volunteer crew isn’t busy gaming or getting homesick, they’ll be testing different methods for spacewalks, not to mention maintaining the habitat and all the crops growing to keep the four people fed. And no, it won’t be like Matt Damon in the film The Martian, growing nothing but potatoes.
The habitat is called Mars Dune Alpha, located in Houston, Texas, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Wallpaper surrounding the red sand simulates the Mars surface, and the entire habitat is inside a massive warehouse. It’s not all fun and games, though, as the crew will carry out important missions and gather critical information for NASA.
NASA said that along with the comforts of a lounge and exercise, the crew of volunteers would be tested in a psychological way similar to what astronauts could face on Mars. Some include isolation, limiting resources, equipment failures, and other emergency situations.
The experiment is expected to begin sometime in June or July and will last a year, pushing the crew of four to the limit while still performing essential tasks. Would you sign up?
via Business Insider