The US space agency NASA has opened the gates for crews as it is recruiting for a year-long mission on Mars and is looking for four applicants to live in a simulated Martian exploration habitat.
The aim is to send astronauts to Mars and thus prepare them for the real-life challenges of future missions to the red planet.
The space agency started taking applications for participants to live for a year in Mars Dune Alpha, a 1,700-square-foot Martian habitat created by a 3D-printer that is inside a building at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
"In preparation for the real-life challenges of future missions to Mars, Nasa will study how highly motivated individuals respond under the rigor of a long-duration, ground-based simulation," Nasa said in a statement.
The habitat will simulate the challenges of a mission on Mars, crew tasks may include simulated spacewalks, scientific research, use of virtual reality and robotic controls, and exchanging communications, the Nasa statement read.
Nasa is planning three of these missions, known as Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog, with the first one starting in fall (September 1-November 30) next year.
The application is open for age group 30-55. Other criteria for selection include proficiency in English, good physical health and no smoking habit.
With four years of professional experience, applicants who have completed military officer training or a Bachelor of Science in a STEM field may be considered, the Nasa statement read.