Last week, a group of four “Mars Analog Astronauts” stepped into a Mars simulation where they will be working and living for the next 378 days. The experiment is NASA’s way of studying the effect a prolonged mission to Mars might have on the human psyche, and the 1,700 square foot, 3-D printed space will put its crew through their paces while NASA watches on from the outside.

@brutamerica Locked on fake Mars with 3 strangers for over a year … any takers? #nasa #chapea #fyp ? original sound - Brut.

But while this whole thing seems pretty cool from the outside, it has plenty of people feeling a bit underwhelmed.

First off, both the outdoor and indoor Mars re-creations leave something to be desired, with some people feeling like a standard science fiction movie set might have done a better job.

“You mean to tell me with all the money NASA has, that’s the closest they could get to mimicking Mars?” Michael commented on TikTok.

And with Fox’s Stars On Mars show in full swing, it’s hard not to feel like the fictitious reality version of this set-up is doing it better.

“Why does Stars On Mars look so much nicer than Nasa’s?” one person asked.  

“I would pay so much for access to this livestream for the next year,” Sav commented. Unfortunately, we will not be getting a livestream.

Nasa first published its job posting for the experiment back in 2021, and its four selections are all from out of house; two scientists, an engineer, and a medical officer.

But while you might think they’d be making bank for sacrificing their life over the next year, NASA is reportedly paying them each around $10 an hour for every moment they’re awake. Assuming 16 hours of waking time, that’s about a $60,000-a-year salary. Not nothing, but c’mon. I’m sure four of the world’s premier thinkers could be doing much better for themselves.

Really NASA just should have asked Matt Damon what it was like.