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NASA: Seeking Mars taste testers

NASA is seeking volunteers to simulate a trip to Mars, complete with space suits and food made from space-friendly ingredients.
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In this handout image provided by NASA, an astronaut waits at the International Space Station docked to the space shuttle Atlantis. Researchers are seeking volunteers to simulate a trip to Mars, by wearing space suits and eating food cooked with limited ingredients. (NASA/AFP/Getty Images)

NASA is looking for faux-astronauts to wear space suits and eat food made for Mars.

According to Time magazine, NASA is looking for ways to create a healthy, balanced diet for astronauts potentially making a three year trip to Mars, and wants volunteers who would test out different ingredients and recipes in a four-month long simulation.

Time said, “Participants must don imitation spacesuits, eat what astronauts currently digest, track and measure their food intake and even try their hand at cooking, using a limited array of ingredients.”

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The study, carried out by Cornell University and University of Hawaii-Manoa, will involve six volunteers living on a simulated Mars base located on a Hawaiian lava flow, according to USA TODAY.

Jean Hunter, a professor at Cornell University and one of the organizers of the experiment, told ABC News, “Astronauts on long missions generally don't eat enough. That's good for a diet on Earth, but bad in space, because all the problems of microgravity, like bone and muscle loss, are exacerbated if you don't get enough calories.”

The participants would be limited to the ingredients that can survive a long journey into space, such as flour, sugar, beans, rice, dehydrated meat and cheese, according to ABC News.

Time noted that cooking skills and adventurous tastebuds aren’t all that participants will need, as all who apply will need a bachelor’s degree in either engineering, biological or physical sciences, mathematics or computer science.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/nasa-seeking-mars-taste-testers

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