If you are in the market for a new place to live, you are likely going through quite a time trying to find something that ticks every box. It has to be within your price range and geographic area, and needs also to feature the amenities you need in life.
If you are willing to get adventurous, you might consider further out there in concept options such as a trailer, or a downtown loft. They’re more suited to you than you realize if you open your mind to all the possibilities out there.
But if those aren’t out there enough, you might tear a little phone number tab off the flyer being distributed by NASA. Yes, technically you would be living in Houston. But as a practical matter, the place where you would really be laying your head each night would be Mars.
The full extent of the offer, borne from the latest effort in a campaign to prepare for eventual firsthand survey of the planet Mars, is that four people will be accepted to live for one year in a 1700 square foot Martian habitat that has been created via a 3D printer and is in a building at Houston’s Johnson Space Center. You could be one!
Volunteers who are accepted, and who will be paid, will carry out a simulated Mars exploratory mission in which they will go on spacewalks, be limited in their ability to contact the outside world, and live on austere levels of food and other resources. Additionally, they will experience periodic equipment failures in what will be familiar to anyone who has run a Sim City game long enough to grow mischievous.
The application process for NASA’s latest simulated Mars mission has just recently opened, and features daunting requirements even for those trying to pass muster with New York or Los Angeles apartment building landlords: applicants must have a graduate degree in science, engineering or math, unless they have pilot experience. The accepted age range is 30-55, and applicants must also be in good physical health without dietary issues or susceptibility to motion sickness.
The reason for the strictness is that of course it will be NASA astronauts in peak condition who will be first to Mars, from the US at any rate, and an experiment as accurate as can be without using active NASA personnel for a one year simulation is desired. The results of an alternate approach can be seen in Russia’s Mars 500 mission.
So if your lease will be up around the Mars move-in date, and if you happen to be an extremely fit and highly educated in STEM categories individual of relative youth, you just may have found your next home.
Veteran astronauts say it’s perfect for the exact right kind of person, offering as it does a year of total freedom from the normal demands of daily life on Earth. With such freedom, a person could do anything from catch up on their reading to learn a brand new skill at an expert level. It all depends on whether they have what has been rather famously been characterized as “the right stuff”: competence, resourcefulness, resilience and positive attitude. If that sounds like you, and you aren’t running at full speed towards a hotel, go for it!