NASA: Non-White Martians Wanted?

April Deadline Approaches for Mars Simulation

Martians wanted.

With less than two weeks remaining before a Tuesday, April 2, 2024, application deadline, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson is beating the bushes for volunteers willing to spend one year inside a Mars surface simulation. True, there is travel involved, but only to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where NASA has set up a 1,700 square foot, 3D-printed habitat called “Mars Dune Alpha.”

The project, dubbed CHAPEA mission 2 (CHAPEA, for Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog), will be NASA’s second of three iterations designed to provide “important scientific data to validate systems and develop solutions for future missions to the Red Planet.” For a little over twelve months, sealed inside Mars Dune Alpha, crews are confronted with “communication delays” and “environmental stressors” and participate in activities ranging from crop growth, simulated space walks, habitat maintenance, and science experiments. 

Candidates must be healthy, non-smoking, motivated U.S. citizens (or permanent residents) between 30-55 years old. They must be proficient in English. A master’s degree in a STEM field (engineering, mathematics, or biological, physical or computer science), with at least two years of professional STEM experience, or 1,000 hours piloting an aircraft is required. Applicants should “have a strong desire for unique, rewarding adventures and interest in contributing to NASA’s work to prepare for the first human journey to Mars.”

Gender or pigment requirements are not explicitly stated – but there are ugly hints. The official press release concludes with the DEI/Woke tagline: “Under NASA’s Artemis campaign, the agency will establish the foundation for long-term scientific exploration of the Moon, land the first woman, first person of color, and its first international partner astronaut on the lunar surface, and prepare for human expeditions to Mars ‘for the benefit of all.’” That’s not an outright “white males need not apply.” But still, not much of a welcome mat.

CHAPEA mission 1 kicked off in June of 2023 when two female, and two male volunteers were sealed up inside Mars Dune Alpha. The team included “Mission Commander” Kelly Haston (stem cell biologist), “Science Officer” Anca Selariu (microbiologist), Medical Officer Nathan Jones (emergency medicine physician), and “Flight Engineer” Ross Brockwell (structural engineer and public works administrator).

NASA researchers keep the crew under close surveillance, monitoring how they perform their duties and how they interact with their habitat and each other – all so that they can make informed decisions on everything from future crew assignments to equipment and habitat maintenance to meal planning, furniture placement, and personal hygiene.

But as one might expect – all did not go smoothly.

Anca Selariu’s audio log records her experiences at the six-month mark: “Now that we’re halfway through – what do I miss most about Earth? Well, what took me by surprise was how much I miss Earth life, its sounds, its colors. It’s almost a visceral sensation – much like a Phantom Limb Syndrome. I really never thought this was possible. I miss the greenery, I miss seeing insects, hearing a bird. I miss petting a cat. I miss the colorful sky of Earth, its ever-changing weather. I miss the almost infinite library of nature smells.”

Sweet in its way, surely. And wistful, forlorn, even tragic. But hardly the sentiments one would expect from a dedicated “Science Officer” facing years – if not a lifetime, on the Red Planet.

When questioned by CNN talking head Christiane Amanpour, NASA’s Bill Nelson didn’t suggest better mental screening or more appropriate psychological profiles for Mars colony candidates. Instead, referring to Selariu as “that lady,” he suggested treadmills or ellipticals running virtual forest trails.

It might not be Selariu’s fault – she was a last minute replacement, taking the place of backup crew member advanced practice nurse Alyssa Selera for “undisclosed reasons.” The second backup crew member was aerospace and defense industry engineer Trevor Clark (black male). Apparently, NASA was dead set on preserving its “two men, two women” balance. Too bad for Clark.

Mind you – the CHAPEA mission 1 team drove to Mars Dune Alpha in a simulated “Martian transport,” entered the habitat in coveralls, and with the doors clanging shut behind them, participated in a “warm group hug.” They didn’t spend seven months in a spaceship exposed to cosmic radiation, dealing with weightlessness, coping every single day with the stark reality that if things went bad, they couldn’t simply call it off. They didn’t have to deal with landing on Mars, constructing a 3D-printed habitat under 1/3 Earth gravity, or generating enough water and oxygen day after day just to survive.

When NASA began recruiting for CHAPEA mission 2 volunteers last February, the likely “winning” demographics were predictable: Two males and two females, with an additional male and an additional female in “the wings” for backup, with the racial balance including at least fifty percent persons “of color” to make up for CHAPEA mission 1’s lack of pigment. That is, unless Mission Commander Kelly Haston’s membership in the Black Hawk Nation qualifies her as a “person of color.”

So, DEI selection criteria notwithstanding, what are your chances of making the cut? They might be better than you think. With the deadline rapidly approaching, and less than two weeks to go, NASA’s Bill Nelson is still on the stump. This last weekend he hit the cable news circuit via teleconference, pushing hard for volunteers. “Please apply,” said Nelson, staring straight into the camera. “We are trying to see how humans react.” When confronted by Amanpour on the psychological stresses of isolation, Nelson didn’t mention toughening up mental selection criteria for CHAPEA candidates, but one would hope that NASA is heading back to the drawing board to eliminate the “I miss petting a cat” fluff factor.

With NASA up against it, cracks appearing in the Kumbaya front, and the ideal rainbow mix of candidates simply not signing up? My advice is to go for it. Give it a shot. Toss your Chapeau in the CHAPEA ring. Go to to apply. And if you happen to be “white” and male? Submit on April 1st to add a poignant point to it all.

has traveled extensively in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and the South Seas – winning hearts and minds in and out of uniform – federal, military, and freelance.  Now working exclusively freelance, he is fluent in German and English, with survival skills in French, Haitian Creole, Russian, Standard Arabic, Swahili and Samoan.

Get SALVO blog posts in your inbox!
Copyright © 2024 Salvo |


Bioethics icon Bioethics Philosophy icon Philosophy Media icon Media Transhumanism icon Transhumanism Scientism icon Scientism Euthanasia icon Euthanasia Porn icon Porn Marriage & Family icon Marriage & Family Race icon Race Abortion icon Abortion Education icon Education Civilization icon Civilization Feminism icon Feminism Religion icon Religion Technology icon Technology LGBTQ+ icon LGBTQ+ Sex icon Sex College Life icon College Life Culture icon Culture Intelligent Design icon Intelligent Design

Welcome, friend.
to read every article [or subscribe.]