NASA is seeking US citizens for an eight-month study on social isolation in preparation for missions to Mars and the moon. The research is being done to study the effects of isolation and confinement as participants work to complete simulated space missions.
Participants will be staying in a lab located in Moscow, and they will experience environmental aspects similar to those astronauts are expected to experience on future missions to Mars that will have crew members from different nations.
Not just anybody can apply, though.
NASA is looking for healthy individuals between the ages of 30 and 55 who are fluent in both English and Russian. They must also have a M.S., PhD., M.D. or have completed military officer training. NASA will consider other participants with a bachelor’s degree and other qualifications such as military or professional experience.
Participants will be compensated, and there are varying levels of pay depending on whether you’re associated with NASA.
This study builds on a four-month study conducted in 2019. The SIRIUS-19 analog mission had six participants — two Americans and four Russians — isolated in a metal habitat that acted as their spacecraft, lunar lander and home. NASA hopes to better understand how long spaceflight journeys and extended exposure to isolation and confinement will affect astronauts on upcoming Artemis missions and eventual trips to Mars.
Artemis is NASA’s program to land humans back on the Moon by 2024 in preparation for an eventual trip to Mars.
“Social isolation is a very important area for us to research,” said Thomas Williams, a scientist for the Human Factors and Behavioral Performance Element. “It is associated with higher levels of stress and affects physiological and psychological well-being.”
NASA hopes what they learn will lead to improved health and performance of astronauts that are traveling to the Moon and beyond.