As part of the Journey to Mars campaign, the National Space Agency (NASA) released Thursday creative recruitment posters to encourage Americans to apply for a job in the Red Planet. NASA is looking for surveyors, farmers, teachers, and technicians who dare to join the adventure of exploring Mars. Scientists do not expect to colonize the planet until 2030, but they want to spend the years that are left training exceptionally skillful and talented people.
But the Mars marketing campaign is late. The application deadline has passed, and the agency will most certainly choose the first Mars residents from the 18,300 candidates that already applied for the 2017 astronaut summer class. NASA received that amount of applications between Dec. 14 and mid-February, and only eight to 14 people are needed, at least for the first round.
Those chosen will spend two years of training at the Johnson Spaceflight Center in Houston, Texas. They will be trained in science, engineering and will receive language classes, as well as physical training to get ready to face the extreme conditions typical of the Red Planet.
Who is eligible?
The marketing campaign is perhaps an attempt to show the world that the Mars colonization will require much more than ordinary astronauts. In fact, the message is that anyone with a useful skill can be part of the first colonization out of our world. Teachers with a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field who have had at least three years of experience can be eligible to go to Mars. Even teaching at the K-12 level counts, according to a report by The Washington Post.
NASA is also calling for farmers to help figure out how to feed explorers on long space missions. There already are lettuce flowering plants being grown on the International Space Station (ISS) and astronauts are thinking about trying out with more delicate crops, including tomatoes.
Of course, growing plants on Mars will represent a huge challenge, but scientists on Earth are currently trying to replicate that process with faux Martian soil, according to The Washington Post.
Surveyors are wanted, too. Cartographers at the British Ordnance Survey created a map in the same fashion they work with locations on Earth. Those willing to work as a surveyor on the Red Planet can look at the map and see that Mars could be a great world to take a hike, as the Washington Post describes it.
“People with special talents will always be in demand for our Journey to Mars,” reads one of the posters released by NASA. “Whether repairing an antenna in the extreme environment of Mars or setting up an outpost on the moon Phobos, having the skills and desire to dare mighty things is all you need.”
The posters’ origin
The posters are very similar to those from World War I, but in these ones Uncle Sam is wearing a NASA spacesuit. The agency explains on its website that these posters were originally designed to be exhibited at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex in 2009. They are now available to everyone on the web as part of the Journey to Mars.
In February, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) released 14 extra posters as part of a series called Visions of the Future to gain support for future missions focused on space tourism. The series are also inspired on vintage travel posters of the late 20th century, as reported by Christian Science Monitor. But it is clear that Mars is only for explorers. At least for now.
A high school chemistry teacher is technically eligible to colonize Mars, but there is a 0.0004 percent chance to be exact because NASA usually picks candidates with a unique combination of advanced degrees plus military flight experience. However, if you can imagine it, you can make it.
Dan Goods, the JPL visual strategist, told CNN that imagination was critical to building a future one wanted to participate in. He said artists and science fiction writers were the first to imagine many of the projects NASA is currently leading today.
Source: Washington Post