Applications Open for Mars Analogue Mission and Food Study

Applications Open for
Cornell / University of Hawaii Mars Analogue Mission and Food Study

Scientists at Cornell University studying how best to feed Mars-bound astronauts during their long space trip to the Red Planet have dreamed up a mock mission to see how appetites and food preferences can change over time. The researchers are looking for six volunteers to live and work like astronauts for four months inside a faux space capsule in Hawaii.

Six prime and two alternate crewmembers will be selected to participate in the following study events:

1. A four-day workshop at Cornell University (summer 2012)
2. A two week training mission (late 2012)
3. Review opportunistic research projects proposed for the 4-month simulated Mars mission, and participate in online private discussion groups, meetings, chats or conference calls to select projects to be conducted during the 4 month mission
4. A simulated Mars mission in 2013, in which six crewmembers, supported by one or both alternates, will return to the habitat and repeat items 2a – 2j for a period of 120 days, preceded by 3-5 days of setup work and followed by 3-5 days of wrap-up. Alternates will serve the same support roles as during the training mission.

Participants will have qualifications similar to those required by NASA for their astronaut applicants:

- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, in engineering, biological or physical sciences, mathematics, or computer science.
- Professional experience (including graduate school) of at least three years beyond the bachelor’s degree
- Ability to pass a class 2 flight physical examination
- No history of upper airway surgery, rhinoplasty, chronic rhinitis or chronic sinusitis
- No other medical or psychological condition that would preclude participation in this study
- Willingness and ability to eat a wide range of foods
- Normal sense of taste and smell
- Tobacco-free for at least 24 months
- Demonstrated ability to conduct field research
- Strong interest in human space exploration
- Fluency in verbal and written English
- Availability and willingness to take time to participate in the workshop and the two analogue missions

- Experience in a complex operational system, e.g. submarine, ambulance, airplane cockpit, control room
- Background in medicine or nursing at the “first responder” level or higher
- Ability to lift 15 kg and to cover 100 m on foot in 40 seconds or less
- Experience in construction, electronics, or home repair
- Body mass index between 19 and 25.
- Not pregnant or lactating during 2012 and 2013
- Household cooking experience
- Valid driver’s license
- Age between 21 and 65

The application deadline is 11:59pm Hawaii time on February 29th, 2012

If selected for the study, your compensation will be as follows:

- Four-day training workshop: Reimbursement of travel (economy class), lodging and food expenses for the workshop.
- Two-week training mission:Travel, food and lodging expenses will be provided. In addition, a $500 honorarium will be paid to crewmembers and the alternate(s) working in local research support who complete the training mission.
- 120-day Mars analogue mission:Round trip travel, food and lodging expenses are provided. Crewmembers in the habitat will be paid a stipend of $25 per day spent in the analogue habitat plus a completion bonus at the end of the mission, for a total mission compensation of $5000 over and above travel, lodging and food expenses. Alternates working in research support roles near the habitat will have their housing and round trip transportation paid for, a per diem for food, and will receive the same stipend and completion bonus as the crewmembers.

Go to for more details and an application form.