Spoiler alert: it's not a lot.
Four individuals have agreed to be sequestered inside a 1,700-square-foot simulated Mars habitat at NASA's Johnson Space Center to study what it would be like to live on the Red Planet and how humans can learn to cope in that extreme environment.
During their 378-day stay, which officially kicked off earlier this week, they'll have a surprisingly busy schedule, including a strict exercise regimen as well as a lengthy list of duties, from performing simulated spacewalks to growing crops.
In other words, it's a demanding job that's bound to be tough on the crew of four.
But they're not losing just over a year of their lives without being compensated. NASA is paying each participant $10 per hour for all waking hours, the Houston Chronicle reports, which adds up to just over $60,000 for the entire 378-day mission.
All things considered, that seems a little low for such a strenuous gig — but then again, it's all for the good of humanity's interplanetary future.
Learning to Cope
The crew includes research scientist Kelly Haston, structural engineer Ross Brockwell, emergency medicine physician Nathan Jones, and US Navy microbiologist Anca Selariu.
"It’s definitely going to be challenging," Brockwell told the Chronicle, "but that’s why we’re doing this. How we learn to cope with that is some of the most important information they’re going to get out of this study."
Jones, however, was worried about something else entirely.
"Something’s going to break at my home with my family, like the lawnmower or something, and I’m not going to be there to fix it," he told the newspaper. "I think it’s going to be easy to get homesick when that happens."
Meanwhile, Haston is excited about the prospect of actually getting her hands dirty.
"Being a scientist and also the test subject is actually a really unique and cool position to be in," she told the Chronicle.
More on the mission: NASA Locks Test Subjects Inside Simulated Mars Base
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