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Life on Mars: Astroland Cantabria recreates the red planet experience
17 February 2020 @ 09:57

WHAT would life really be like on Mars? We'll find out soon enough, given that Earth is planning on colonising the red planet within 10 years, but anyone who's genuinely curious and serious about it can discover for themselves how to be a Martian in Spain's far north.

Astroland Space Center in Cantabria takes volunteers through the weird sensations and gruelling tasks that a real-live person on Mars would have to face, as well as giving them rigorous emergency-situation training.


Another reality

“Mars is a desolate landscape, and I'm alone in it,” according to The Martian, Andy Weir's début novel which was adapted to screen by Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon.

But if you're up to finding out what it's like without committing yourself to the rest of your life on a strange planet, Astroland offers a 100-day course where you can find out.

Back in 2019, the centre carried out a stringent selection process to find 100 crew members to take part in 10 missions, with 10 people in each, and they are still running the training for anyone who has changed their mind and would like to give it a go.

It costs €10,000 and comes in three phases – the first of which is the easiest, involving distance learning, physical and advanced psychological preparation and personal development.

Online sessions of up to three hours at a time, and one-to-one follow-up tutorials, start the course, then each 'Astrolander' has to take on some of their own preparation work.

This is carried out independently but with the support and supervision of Astroland staff, and covers personal training, nutrition, exercise, scientific knowledge and psychology techniques.

They are sent scientific reports and then have to carry out field research based upon them, and are expected to follow a tailored diet and exercise programme, with regular self-report on their progress.



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