NASA Is Paying People A Very Low Hourly Rate To Lock Themselves In A Mars Simulator For A Year
by Trisha Leigh
We all know that NASA is serious about taking a manned mission to Mars in the relatively near future, so honestly, you might be surprised to learn how much they’re willing to shell out to the people pretending to do just that.
There is a 1700-square-foot simulated Mars habitat at NASA Johnson’s Space Center, and four people have agreed to lock themselves inside for a whole year. The plan is for astronauts and engineers to study what it would be like to live on Mars and figure out ways to keep humans alive in an extreme environment.
The subjects will maintain a strict exercise regimen, take simulated space walks, and do their best to grow crops.
For their time and energy, they will each receive $10 an hour for every waking hour – a little more than $60K for the year-long experiment.
Seems low, right? Definitely not Matt Damon in the Martian money.
Apparently the crew members – research scientist Kelly Haston, structural engineer Ross Brockwell, emergency medicine physician Nathan Jones, and US Navy microbiologist Anca Selariu – are okay with it, though.
Ross Brockwell spoke about the experiment to the Houston Chronicle.
“It’s definitely going to be challenging, but that’s why we’re doing this. How we learn to cope with that is some of the most important information they’re going to get out of this study.”
For his part, Jones is worried about the things he’s going to be missing.
“Something’s going to break at my home with my family, like the lawnmower or something, and I’m not going to be there to fix it. I think it’s going to be easy to get homesick when that happens.”
It sounds like most of these folks are not in it for the money, but for the science, and for the experience.
Which is probably the exact kind of people you want in there.