NASA will pay people to spend 8 months in a lockdown to simulate missions to Mars and the moon

NASA's long-term goal is to have astronauts head to Mars in the 2030s, but before it gets there, it's going to pay people to act like they're headed to the Red Planet.

The government agency said it is looking for six people to isolate for eight months in Moscow, Russia, to help the space agency understand "the physiological and psychological effects of isolation and confinement on humans in preparation for Artemis exploration missions to the Moon and future long-duration missions to Mars."

As tempting as it might be to spend eight months in isolation in Moscow, NASA isn't looking for just any regular person. There are a number of requirements applicants need, including being a U.S. citizen between 30 and 55 years old, being proficient in Russian and English, and having a college degree, preferably a master's, doctorate or medical degree, as well as completion of military officer training.

The mission facility in Moscow, Russia. (Credit: NASA and the Institute for Biomedical Problems)

The mission facility in Moscow, Russia. (Credit: NASA and the Institute for Biomedical Problems)

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Those with bachelor degrees and other qualifications "may be acceptable candidates as well," NASA said in the statement.

NASA said there could be different levels of compensation based on whether a person is associated with NASA or is an employee or contractor, but did not get more specific than that.

Fox News has reached out to NASA with a request for clarification on the compensation levels.

Crewmember conducting robotic operations. (Credit: NASA and the Institute for Biomedical Problems)

Crewmember conducting robotic operations. (Credit: NASA and the Institute for Biomedical Problems)

NASA said the research will be used to "study the effects of isolation and confinement as participants work to successfully complete their simulated space mission," while also helping the agency prepare for challenges of space exploration and how to solve problems associated with it.

A similar four-month study was conducted in 2019.

NASA's plan is to return to the moon in 2024 via its Artemis program, but that timeline may be upended by the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News previously reported.

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