Volunteers wanted for trip to 'Mars'

The European Space Agency is looking for people who would like to go on a pretend trip to Mars — for about a year and a half.

The European Space Agency is looking for people who would like to go on a pretend trip to Mars— for about a year and a half.

The 520-day experiment involves a crew of six living in sealed modules at the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow.

Promising a program "as close to a real Mars mission as possible," the space agency plans to simulate a 250-day trip to Mars, 30 days to experience the planet and 240 days to make it back home.

Weightlessness and radiation are not included, but the simulated out-of-planet experience offers isolation, confinement, crowding, lack of privacy, high workload, boredom with available food, and limited communication with family, friends and mission control.

Still keen? You might be just what the agency needs if you are:

  • Between ages 25 and 50.
  • In good health.
  • Highly motivated.
  • Fluent in either English or Russian, preferably both.
  • No taller than six-foot-one (185 cm).
  • Experienced in medicine, biology, engineering and the like.
  • A non-smoker with no addictions.
  • Willing to be a medical and psychological test subject.
  • A national and resident of a select list of countries— including Canada.

People with mental disorders, special diets, those considered too fat or too thin, or currently in jail need not apply.

While a monetary amount is not specified, the agency says anyone successfully completing the entire study will "receive fixed compensation that is in line with international standards for participation in clinical studies."

Applications, from serious candidates only, are being accepted until Sept. 30. The mission is expected to begin as early as May.