If during the lockdowns you’ve discovered that isolation isn’t that hard on you, then you might be interested in helping NASA out with their Analog Missions.

Analog Missions are field tests that NASA carries out in different locations around the world and are used to gather data and help prepare astronauts-in-training for future trips to asteroids, the Moon and Mars. These missions test everything, and that includes how well humans can deal with prolonged periods of isolation.

So if you actually did pretty well during the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, maybe you would be a perfect fit for NASA to become one of their test subjects. The American agency currently has several programmes looking for volunteers – from the HERA programme in Houston to the NEK facility in Moscow, both researching how people do when they remain isolated from periods of time that go from 45 days to a year.

There are, of course, some requirements to meet in order to be able to apply – volunteers must be between 30 and 55 years old and must be non-smokers. Before actually becoming a NASA test subject, they also must pass a physical and psychological assessment, since the job is not without its hazards – “a decline in mood, cognition, morale,” are among the possible consequences listed by NASA.

A space shuttle lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center
The data gathered during Analog Missions help NASA figure out how to better its manned missions into space © Eugene Buchko / 500px

It would certainly be a unique experience and one that might help in exploring the final frontier even more. If you’re interested or want to learn more, you can check out the official NASA website here.

Lockdowns are easing globally as the planet adjusts to a new normal. Find out how COVID-19 is changing travel.

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