NASA will keep people in isolation for a year: How much money will each participant of the experiment receive

NASA has officially launched one of the largest intriguing experiments to date. During the experiment, four participants will be locked in complete isolation at a conditional NASA Martian base. This will help simulate the living conditions of astronauts in a small confined space, where they will be cut off from the usual life benefits during their stay on Mars, such as mobile phones, Internet and television.

This experiment is the first of three planned missions known as Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA). Participants, including scientist Kelly Gaston, civil engineer Ross Brockwell, emergency physician Nathan Jones and U.S. Navy microbiologist Anka Selario, will be in a 3D-overprinted environment for 378 days.

Four participants of the experiment who will spend a year in a simulation of Mars at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. From left to right: crew members Anka Selario, Ross Brockwell, Kelly Gaston and Nathan Jones. Authorship: NASA

The purpose of the experiment is to test how such isolated but cramped rooms can affect the human body and mind. Maintaining good physical and mental health will be important for all four participants and will help NASA understand how a long stay on planets like Mars can affect human astronauts in the future. 

This room simulates the surface of Mars, where the participants of the experiment will go out to grow various crops. Authorship: NASA

During their 378-day stay, participants will have a surprisingly busy schedule, including a strict exercise regime, as well as a long list of responsibilities, from performing a simulation of going to the surface of Mars to growing crops.

Boots for going to the “surface of Mars”. Photo: NASA

NASA says the simulation includes private cabins for each crew member, a kitchen, areas for medicine, relaxation, fitness, work and growing crops. There are also technical work areas and two bathrooms. During the simulation, participants will have to cope with equipment breakdowns and various environmental stresses and limited resources. 

Medical compartment in the living room. Photo: NASA
Hot water dispenser, measuring device and heater for food in the kitchen area of the habitation. Photo: NASA 
A selection of board games in the residential area of the habitat. Internet and television are not provided — they will be isolated from outside news, but it is allowed to watch pre-recorded movies. Photo: NASA

Of course, participation in the annual experiment will be rewarded with substantial compensation. NASA will pay each participant USD 10 per hour for all the time of active work, according to the Houston Chronicle. Thus, the total amount of payments to each will be slightly more than 60 thousand dollars for the entire 378-day mission.

We are still very far from colonizing another planet, as they do in science fiction films and books. But we hope this simulation and the subsequent will lay the foundation on which the space agency will be able to rely in the future.

Earlier we reported on how the mission to return the Martian soil could double in price.

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