Wanted: Non-smoking loners interested in Mars, 520 days to burn
If you are a European or Canadian with planetary vision, want to be on space exploration's cutting edge and don't get bored easily, the European Space Agency may be looking for you.
The agency needs volunteers for a simulated mission to Mars, one of the most challenging space experiments ever.
Despite rigorous conditions — up to 520 days in “extreme isolation and confinement” — competition will be stiff, with more than 2,000 applications received in two days for only 12 spots, project manager Jennifer Ngo-Anh said Thursday.
“The reaction has been really overwhelming. My mailbox is full,” Ms. Ngo-Anh said in a telephone interview.
Unlike the adventurous spirits attracted to the desert island prospects of reality TV, only the “serious” need apply for this pretend interplanetary voyage, the space agency said. The payoff is likely less glamorous, too. Pay is “in line with international standards” for clinical studies, is all that ESA says.
Candidates must be citizens of one of 15 European countries or Canada, be highly motivated and speak English and Russian, among other requirements.