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NASA unveils 3D-printed Mars simulation habitat

Published Apr 12th, 2023 2:32PM EDT
two astronauts during mission to mars
Image: Gorodenkoff

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NASA is getting serious about sending a manned mission to Mars. We may not have reached the Moon again yet, but the Artemis missions are going as planned. The next step, after reaching the Moon again, is to send humans to Mars. Now NASA is sending four volunteers to a Mars simulation to prepare for such a mission.

The simulation is actually a large set built to include equipment that astronauts might need on Mars. The box is in a massive warehouse in the corner of the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

The Mars simulation is situated next to the Disc Golf Course, according to The Guardian, and it is equipped with living quarters, a place to grow food, and a limited water supply. The four volunteers who step into the simulation in June will have their work cut out.

One of the biggest hurdles facing NASA and astronauts who want to travel to Mars is more limited resources. The further we get from Earth, the harder it is to send massive loads of resources out with the spacecraft carrying these astronauts. As such, the volunteers of this Mars simulation will need to grow their own food.

They’ll also need to watch how they use their water and the small housing unit that NASA built using a 3D printer. The building and all were constructed in the same way NASA may actually build structures on the Red Planet, a plan that includes using Martian soil.

The Mars simulation will also examine how a year on Mars might affect the human body and mind. The volunteers will be watched closely to see how their social behavior and mental health change over the course of the year-long test.

It will, no doubt, be a very difficult experience. But, it could provide useful data that helps NASA prepare for the real thing. At least, in this case, should any of the people involved need professional help, it will be just a few feet away. On Mars, the possibility of receiving any kind of help will be unlikely, as the Red Planet lies over 145 million miles away.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.