Preview into 3D printed habitat for yearlong simulated Mars mission

NASA has created a 3D-printed habitat to simulate what it would be like for humans to live on Mars.

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On Tuesday, NASA officials gave FOX 26 crews a sneak peek of the facility called the CHAPEA habitat, or Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

(Photo: FOX 26 Houston)

Starting in June, four people will live inside the Mars habitat for a yearlong mission to help NASA prepare for human exploration of Mars. The four people are volunteers who are not astronauts.

(Photo: FOX 26 Houston)

The mission will be the first of three planned in NASA’s CHAPEA habitat.

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During the simulation, crew members will carry out different types of mission activities, including simulated spacewalks, robotic operations, habitat maintenance, personal hygiene, exercise, and crop growth.

(Photo: FOX 26 Houston)

The crew also will endure environmental stressors such as resource limitations, isolation, and equipment failure so NASA can mimic life on Mars, as much as possible.

(Photo: FOX 26 Houston)

The crew members have not yet been publicly identified.


NASA is leading a return to the Moon for long-term science and exploration through Artemis missions. 

A week ago, four astronauts who will orbit the moon in late 2024, were announced as part of the Artemis II mission. 

This is the first time in 50 years that a crew of astronauts will fly to the moon, the last time being the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

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Lessons learned on and around the Moon will prepare NASA for the next giant leap – sending the first astronauts to Mars.