The European Space Agency (ESA) is currently recruiting twelve astronauts for a 520 day trip to Mars. Sounds exciting right? A once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Mars taking 250 days to get there, 30 on the surface and 240 to get back. Oh, and 105 days psychological analysis before and another 105 after. Exciting holiday!
Except its not really that exciting, or financially rewarding. Because its all just a simulation to gauge the psychological effects the journey would have on participants. And you only get paid $158 per day. For over two years of your life. The simulation is planned to be as realistic as possible featuring delayed radio communication, packaged energy food and a living area of only 550 cubic metres (about nine truck containers).
Maybe it is moderately exciting to put being an astronaut for two years on your otherwise humdrum CV. But consider this. It does sound a little like a well known reality television show on Channel 4 we all know and love. 10 weeks in the Big Brother house is bad enough but two years? Two years!!
There are no evictions, no diary room, no tasks to keep you entertained, no comedy Geordie commentator and no luxury food budget. Still interestedin Space travel? If there is water don't forget your swimwear.