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First NASA Mars Analog Crew Passes Mission Halfway Mark


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The inaugural CHAPEA crew celebrates Thanksgiving inside the habitat (from left to right: Nathan Jones, Kelly Haston, Anca Selariu, Ross Brockwell).
The inaugural CHAPEA crew celebrates Thanksgiving inside the habitat (from left to right: Nathan Jones, Kelly Haston, Anca Selariu, Ross Brockwell).
NASA/CHAPEA crew

The first crew to take part in a yearlong NASA Mars analog mission reached the 200 day mark of its mission Jan. 11.

The four person analog crew, entered the CHAPEA (Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog) habitat at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston on June 25, 2023, and is scheduled to complete its mission on July 6, 2024.

Over the past 200 days, the crew grew and harvested its first crops grown inside the 1,700-square-foot habitat, including tomatoes, peppers, and leafy greens, participated in a host of simulated “Marswalks” with relevant time delay, tempo, and activities consistent with future Mars mission concepts, and took part in science investigations in biological and physical sciences.

NASA will use research gained from CHAPEA to determine how to best support crew health and performance while living on Mars during a long-duration exploration mission.

The crop growth system inside the CHAPEA habitat is similar to systems used for indoor home gardening and provides water, nutrients, and lighting that can support the growth of leafy crops, herbs, and small fruits.
In October, the CHAPEA crew harvested its first set of crops. The crop growth system inside the CHAPEA habitat is similar to systems used for indoor home gardening and provides water, nutrients, and lighting that can support the growth of leafy crops, herbs, and small fruits.
NASA/CHAPEA crew
A CHAPEA crew member participates in a simulated “Marswalk” inside the 1,200-square-foot sandbox, which is filled with red sand to mimic the Martian landscape.
A CHAPEA crew member participates in a simulated “Marswalk” inside the 1,200-square-foot sandbox, which is filled with red sand to mimic the Martian landscape.
NASA/CHAPEA crew
Anca Selariu, CHAPEA mission 1 science officer, spends time exercising inside the habitat’s dedicated exercise room to maintain physical health and performance. Similar to crew timelines aboard the International Space Station, CHAPEA crews have scheduled exercise.
Anca Selariu, CHAPEA mission 1 science officer, spends time exercising inside the habitat’s dedicated exercise room to maintain physical health and performance. Similar to crew timelines aboard the International Space Station, CHAPEA crews have scheduled exercise.
NASA/CHAPEA crew
The CHAPEA crew celebrates the birthday for Ross Brockwell, left, inside the habitat.
The CHAPEA crew celebrates the birthday for Ross Brockwell, left, inside the habitat.
NASA/CHAPEA crew

NASA is leading a return to the Moon for long-term science and exploration. Through Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. Lessons learned on and around the Moon and activities like CHAPEA on the ground will prepare NASA for the next giant leap: sending astronauts to Mars.

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