WANNABE astronauts can now experience what it would feel like to visit Mars - from Florida.
The new Astronaut Training Experience at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will use simulators to let tourists feel what it would be like to live and work in the harshest environment of Mars.
Using real NASA science, the centre will provide two different programmes from this month onwards - Astronaut Training Experience and Mars Base 1.
The Astronaut Training Experience lets visitors to train like an astronaut preparing for a mission to Mars.
Meanwhile, Mars Base 1 lets participants experience what it’s like with a chance to live on Mars for seven hours.
As “rookie astronauts,” they would perform base operations along with real science experiments and engineering tasks.
Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex said: “We’re offering something that most people thought they would never get to do in their lifetime.
“[It’s] for anyone who has wondered what it would be like to feel like an astronaut, to train like they train, face the challenges and issues they have to work though while under extreme pressure.”
Inside the Astronaut Training Experience Center, guests will be surrounded by the same training techniques and experiences that astronauts go through.
Participants are also handed life-like badges and special-issue T-shirts, and their assignments are led by expertly trained educators – their “Trainers” and “Lab Chiefs.”
In the Astronaut Training Experience programme, groups of up to 24 attempt the same physical tasks of the actual astronauts who will travel to Mars.
They will work within reproduced environmental scenarios, such as the Land-and-Drive-on-Mars full-motion simulator, Walk-on-Mars virtual reality, Launch Mission and Spacewalk Training.
Meanwhile, Mars Base 1 participants are assigned real-life challenges at three different stations that require analytic thinking and communication.
For example, in the Mars Engineering Lab, “rookie astronauts” design and test a programme that allows a team of robots to efficiently clear debris from a photovoltaic panel, restoring maximum
solar power to the Base.
They can also partner with scientists working on NASA’s Food in the Mars Botany Lab.
Prices range from $30 (£21) per person for the 30-minute Spacewalk Training experience and $40 (£28) per person for the 45-min Mars Exploration Simulator Training, to $150 (£107) per person for the seven-hour Mars Base 1 programme and $175 (£125) per person for the five-hour Astronaut Training experience.