VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach man is one of four people chosen to take part in NASA’s first one-year analog mission in a habitat to simulate living on Mars.

Ross Blackwell (Photo – NASA)

Ross Brockwell, a structural engineer and public works administrator from Virginia Beach, is one of the four who have been chosen, along with Kelly Haston, Nathan Jones and Alyssa Shannon. NASA made the announcement last month.

Brockwell’s work focuses on infrastructure, building design, operations and organizational leadership.

The ground-based mission, known as Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog, is set to begin in June at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, and it’s one of three planned one-year Mars surface simulations. During those simulations, crew members will live and work in a 3D-printed, 1,700-square-foot habitat.

“We’re really looking at how the crew performance and health changes based on realistic Mars restrictions and lifestyle of the crew members,” said Raina MacLeod, CHAPEA deputy project manager at Johnson in a news release earlier this year. “So, the lifestyle is what we’re trying to simulate by setting up a realistic environment and workload for the CHAPEA crew.”