Want to experience all the travails of being an astronaut with none of the glory? Now’s your chance! The European Space Agency is seeking healthy, psychologically-stable test subjects to make a mock trip to Mars.
What does a simulated Martian voyage entail? Well, for starters, 500 days in a “hermetically sealed module.” The crew of six (bound to become either your best friends or worst enemies) will live and work in a roughly 650 square foot area filled with everything a fake astronaut could ever desire: Sauna! Gym! Experimental greenhouse! Food will be rationed, smoking and alcohol is forbidden, and every seven days you get a two-day “weekend.” (which begs the question: what does one do on days off?) Should you need to communicate with “earth,” a 20-minute signal delay will replicate interplanetary conditions.
So, aside from faint praise what can a pretend astronaut hope for in terms of compensation? “I don’t remember the exact amount, but it’s comparable to what is used regularly in medical studies,” says Marc Heppener, the scientist behind the program. “About 120 euros a day.”
Get yer application form here. No shoving, folks.—Abby Seiff