Robotics expert Simon Engler from Calgary is one of six crew members picked by NASA to take part in a 120-day simulated Mars mission.

As a masters student in electrical engineering, robotics is a language Engler speaks fluently. Now he has an opportunity to test his craft when the team embarks on its mission early next year.

The crew will live and work in a 900-square-foot simulator in an area of Hawaii for four months, as the soil conditions in the area are like those found on Mars by NASA's rover Curiosity. 

"I strongly believe that when we go to Mars we will have robots assisting us, helping us collect data, helping move things, carry things, and I want to find out what are the challenges of working on the surface of Mars with robotic platforms," said Engler about his role in the mission.

CBC Calgary video journalist Terri Trembath talks to Engler about his chance to live like an astronaut.