...By Solomon Thomas for TDPel Media.
NASA’s scientists have 3D printed Mars Dune Alpha, a structure which simulates a realistic Mars habitat to support long-duration exploration-class space missions.
It is hoped that anyone living in Mars Dune Alpha will experience life resembling what to expect in a future Mars surface habitat.
The structure, situated in Texas, US, spans 1,700 square feet, featuring four private crew living quarters, workstations, a medical station, lounge areas, and spaces where people can grow and cook their own food.
To make the experience realistic, despite being in the same building as NASA scientists, there will be a 22-minute delay between communications sent from the site.
NASA’s Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analogue (CHAPEA) team will run the four-person crew living at the site, spending a full year in isolation and confinement while conducting activities similar to those that would be conducted on the Mars surface.
The crew will need to be connected to wires whenever they walk outside to simulate artificial Mars gravity.
To simulate the reduction in gravity found on Mars, the crew will be suspended from straps during their stay at Mars Dune Alpha.
Two more crews are expected to take part in similar missions in the future.
Research from the habitat will be used to help NASA determine risks to crew health and performance during an extended duration mission to Mars.
The Mars Dune Alpha structure is an innovative initiative by NASA to explore the conditions of living on Mars.
It will provide insight on the potential risks of crew health and performance during extended duration missions.
The project is also intended to simulate a realistic Mars habitat to support long-duration exploration-class space missions.
With this, NASA has continued its mission of discovering the potentials of outer space and pioneering human space exploration.