Thursday, July 18, 2024

Volunteers who lived in NASA’s Mars simulation for over a year will finally emerge today

After 378 days inside a mock Mars habitat, the four volunteers for NASA’s yearlong simulation of a stay on the red planet are coming home. The crew — Kelly Haston, Anca Selariu, Ross Brockwell and Nathan Jones — is scheduled to exit the 3D-printed habitat in Houston this evening. You can watch the livestream of their return on NASA TV (below) starting at 5PM ET.

This marks the end of NASA’s first Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA) mission. There are plans already for two more one-year missions, one of which NASA recently accepted applications for.

The Mission 1 crew entered the 1700-square-foot habitat at the Johnson Space Center on June 25 of last year and has spent the months since conducting simulated Marswalks, growing vegetables and performing other tasks designed to support life and work in that environment, like habitat maintenance. No exact dates for the second CHAPEA mission have been set yet, but it’s expected to begin in spring 2025.

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