Want to live on Mars? Well, you can. Sort of. You can live on a fake Mars for a whole year and get paid to do it! The same people who brought you Apollo 13, Tang, and the Space Shuttle are looking for 4 people to enter a Mars simulator for one year. You will run tests, do simulated spacewalks, and even grow your own food!

It takes place in a 3D-printed habitat called Mars Dune Alpha. It has workstations, a lounge, a galley, and even a medical station. And it all exists inside a giant warehouse-like building at NASA’s headquarters in Houston.

I was so excited to live on a fake Mars, that I sent in my application. I told them I loved Tang as a kid, thinking that would earn me some bonus points with the people who review the applications. My other qualifications included watching pretty much every movie set on Mars in the past 50 years and doing a pretty good voice impression of Marvin the Martian from the old Saturday morning cartoon. It seemed important to include these as I don’t have many of the qualifications listed in the job description (as in none of the qualifications).

Unfortunately, my application was rejected. My first mistake was actually telling them that I planned to dress as Marvin the Martian. I felt it would help lighten things up and add to the atmosphere. They felt it would be a distraction to the other participants.

Which, I felt, is exactly the point! If you’re going to spend 12 months locked in a 3D-printed terrarium, you’re going to need distractions! And the goofier the better, I say. But alas, NASA is filled with very serious people, and they don’t feel I’m serious enough for the Mars experiment.

Of course, they weren’t the only ones who rejected my application. My wife and dog vetoed it the moment they caught wind of it. They are open to the Marvin the Martian costume, so maybe staying put is the right decision anyway.

Carry on, Citizens!