October 16, 2013
The Mars Society is seeking a half-dozen national volunteers, four grounded in field science and two in engineering, for a year-long Mars mission analog at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station in northern Canada.
The Mars Arctic 365 Mission, on Devon Island, 900 mi. from the North Pole, is scheduled to begin in August 2014.
Sponsors are seeking nonsmoking applicants, 22 to 60 years old, in good health and holding a bachelor’s degree in a science or engineering discipline, or the equivalent. There are no restrictions on nationality.
“If you want to get humans to Mars and have the skills and temperament to help make this mission a success, please step forward. This is your chance to make history!” according to the Mars Society’s call for volunteers. “The approach of our investigations is to have real science goals in Mars analog environments and to conduct field work under simulated mission constraints. Scientific, engineering, practical mechanical, arctic, wilderness, first aid, medical, and literary skills are all considered a plus.”
The application deadline is Nov. 30.
The analog mission’s science and engineering team must be qualified to support day-to-day research activities in the fields of geology, geochemistry, microbiology, biochemistry and paleontology. Participants will be expected to don spacesuit simulators each time they leave their habitat, conduct pre-selected field investigations and laboratory follow up, equipment repairs and daily maintenance.
The analog will investigate field techniques that would be relevant to the scientific exploration of Mars. The mission-long scientific focus of MA365 will include coupled physical and biological studies of the arctic active layer over the transition from hard winter freeze to summer thaw and other natural science investigations of interest, as well as extended crew psychological, food science, engineering and human factors research.