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#1 2021-08-07 20:30:07

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,297

NASA Mars Simulation at Houston Johnson Space Center

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technolo … d=msedgntp

NASA asking for volunteers to live on ‘Mars’ for a year
Brandon Sapienza  4 hrs ago
15 Comments
If you loved the Matt Damon film “The Martian,” you’re going to love this opportunity from NASA.

As NASA prepares to take astronauts to Mars in the coming years, the agency is searching for applicants for their program that will send four people to live for a year at the Mars Dune Alpha habitat at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Selected volunteers will be paid but have limited contact with family and friends back home. They’ll also have to eschew earthly comforts such as plentiful food and other resources while simulating life on Mars.

The selected group also will have to complete missions including ones that deal with equipment failures.

The first experiment is expected to take place in the fall of 2022.

“We want to understand how humans perform in them,” said lead scientist Grace Douglas. “We are looking at Mars realistic situations.”

NASA opened the application process Friday and is looking for candidates between the ages of 30 and 55 with a Master’s degree in a STEM field. Other requirements include U.S. citizenship, good physical health and the ability to deal with motion sickness.

(th)

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#2 2021-08-08 08:12:24

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,078

Re: NASA Mars Simulation at Houston Johnson Space Center

Why are they creating a new simulation when Nasa has been doing so for quite some time at the analog stations on Devon Island and have had members join in at the others stations as part of the crews exercises.

Here is a tease in that

Selected volunteers will be paid

but there is no mention of the pay level which would be part of getting people to want to do this....

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#3 2021-08-08 08:45:32

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,297

Re: NASA Mars Simulation at Houston Johnson Space Center

For SpaceNut re #2

Thanks for giving this new topic a strong running start!  Your question deserves investment of time on a forum member's part to research the decision making process. 

I hope whatever the member finds and posts will be persuasive, but at the moment we have no idea what (if anything) was learned from previous exercises, and how the test protocol has been adjusted to make the new study more productive.

(th)

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#4 2021-08-08 12:19:30

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,297

Re: NASA Mars Simulation at Houston Johnson Space Center

Here's another view of the news ...

https://www.yahoo.com/news/nasa-wants-p … 25164.html

The paid volunteers will take part in a simulated Martian exploration mission, complete with "spacewalks." They will only have limited contact with their families and friends back home, and will have to learn to cope with restricted resources and equipment failures.

The news comes as the space agency prepares to eventually transport astronauts to the Red Planet as part of NASA's Artemis program. That mission aims to set up a station on the moon and eventually send humans to Mars.

Lead scientist Grace Douglas said in a press release: "The analog is critical for testing solutions to meet the complex needs of living on the Martian surface."

She added: "Simulations on Earth will help us understand and counter the physical and mental challenges astronauts will face before they go."

Applicants will need to hold a master's degree in engineering, maths, or computer science and have at least two years of pilot experience.

The article does not explain why prior simulations were not considered sufficient.

I would appreciate someone with posting privileges investigating and reporting back.  I expect there were good and sufficient reasons for NASA to spend taxpayer money on this venture.  It is possible the glaring deficiencies of previous tests would be embarrassing to reveal, so the best course of action may be to say nothing.

On the ** other ** hand, ** this ** simulation had  better be sufficient!

(th)

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#5 2021-08-11 12:14:48

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,297

Re: NASA Mars Simulation at Houston Johnson Space Center

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/m/c7374956-0 … 0%99s.html

In an earlier post, SpaceNut asked why NASA would be investing taxpayer funds in "another" Mars Simulation.

The anwsers may be starting to come in ...

Here is a hint ...

Anne Quito
Wed, August 11, 2021 1:31 PM
Mars Dune Alpha is touted to be "the highest-fidelity simulated habitat ever constructed" for living in the red planet.

If someone can follow up I'd appreciate it... the "continue reading" button was unresponsive for me just now.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2021-08-11 12:15:24)

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#6 2021-08-11 21:23:00

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,078

Re: NASA Mars Simulation at Houston Johnson Space Center

Conceived by the architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, the model is 1,700 sq ft of habitat designed to allay the mental and physical challenges astronauts may encounter during extended trips to Mars. The ultimate goal, says a spokesperson for BIG’s design team, is to create “a supportive, healthy environment that doesn’t need to sacrifice aesthetics.”

The architects say insights from similar long-duration research spaces—such as the International Space Station, submarines, and Antarctic research stations—informed their thinking.

AANcH7k.img?h=422&w=799&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f

Mars Dune Alpha is equipped with an indoor aquaponic vegetable nursery, a gym, a treatment room, and various areas for lounging and working.

AANcQ95.img?h=450&w=799&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f

Mars Dune Alpha’s structure is built using a 3D-printing technology developed by ICON, a Texas-based tech company that specializes in software-aided construction. NASA is banking that the additive manufacturing technique will be a viable construction method for building structures in outer space.

AANcQ97.img?h=510&w=799&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f

Not a realistic building as mars will not have a smooth prepared concrete floor to build on let alone the rail system for the 3D printing unit.

Additive materials means we are bringing more to finish off what is at first appearance an Insitu building but its not if we are not processing the regolith to make the raw 3D printers source materials.

The image all show a high tech rich appearance to what is being built...

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#7 2021-08-11 21:59:00

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,297

Re: NASA Mars Simulation at Houston Johnson Space Center

For SpaceNut re #6

Thank you for doing the research to add substance to the teaser I found!

A flat floor is achievable with robotic equipment.  it does not require a human supervisor.

The regolith of Mars is rich with potential ingredients for a 3D printer mixture.  There are numerous discussions is this forum of suitable materials.  The problem for any (average) person is to try to remember everything that is stacked up in the archive, let alone having read it.

What I ** really ** appreciate your finding is confirmation that the present investigators studied prior art before making their presentation to NASA decision makers.

Since this is an official NASA study, I expect the documentation will be thorough and voluminous, and that if at the end of the exercise it is concluded the physical and psychological arrangements are practical, then we will likely see them replicated in the real expedition.

Thanks again for your follow up for this topic!

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2021-08-11 21:59:52)

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#8 2021-08-12 19:58:25

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,078

Re: NASA Mars Simulation at Houston Johnson Space Center

A floor for mars already dry means that the layer for the structure will poorly adhere to the floor. So the floor and the structure needs to still be damp for a drying bond at the connection area to become strong since the structure will be under pressure and would cause that seam to tend to leak as pressure rises internally.

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