May 19, 2022

NASA is Looking for Volunteers to Live in Their 3D-Printed Mars Habitat; Meghan Markle’s Half-Brother Calls Her ‘Very Shallow’; Kit Harington Opens Up About His Depression and Addiction Struggles; Durant Named Tokyo Olympics MVP; Former Tesla Employee Awarded $1 Million in a Discrimination Lawsuit

NASA is Looking for Four Volunteers to Spend a Year Living in Their 3D-Printed Mars Habitat

As the space agency prepares to plan for human survival on Mars, NASA is looking for four qualified candidates to live in conditions similar to those on the Red Planet in order to provide insight into what that might look like.

Rather than traveling into space, the volunteers will reside in the Mars Dune Alpha, a 1,700-square-foot 3D-printed habitat at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The module will have individual rooms, a kitchen, two baths, a fitness center, and an area for agricultural cultivation.

NASA intends to undertake three of these experiments, the first in fall 2022 and the others in 2024 and 2025. Paid volunteers will participate in a simulated Mars exploration mission, which will include spacewalks. They will have very little communication with family and friends back home and will need to adapt to resource constraints.

While it may seem exciting to experience life on Mars, there will be difficulties, such as dealing with technology breakdown and limited communication with the outside world. The additional challenges should provide NASA with alternative solutions to any concerns that may develop during future flights.

“The analog is critical for testing solutions to meet the complex needs of living on the Martian surface,” Grace Douglas, lead scientist for NASA’s advanced food technology research, said in the news release. “Simulations on Earth will help us understand and counter the physical and mental challenges astronauts will face before they go.”

According to the application, which opened on Friday and will remain open until Sept. 17, the organization is looking for United States citizens or permanent residents aged 30-35 who are in good physical health and do not have any dietary restrictions. Another requirement is that the candidate must not be susceptible to motion sickness.

The selection process will “follow standard NASA criteria for astronaut candidate applicants,” with applicants needing to hold a master’s degree in engineering, mathematics, or computer science and at least two years of pilot experience.

Meghan Markle’s Half-Brother Calls Her ‘Very Shallow’

Thomas Markle Jr. is not a fan of Meghan Markle, his half-sister. In the first teaser for Australia’s ‘Big Brother VIP,’ Thomas, 55, refers to the Duchess of Sussex, 40, as ‘very shallow.’ Thomas is one of 12 ‘celebrity’ contestants on the show.

Thomas refers to himself in the teaser as “the largest brother of them all” and boasts of having warned Prince Harry not to marry his half-sister Meghan.

“I told Prince Harry, ‘I think she’s going to ruin your life,'” Thomas says as a video of him stepping out of a limo plays. “She’s very shallow.”

Ahead of the couple’s May 2018 royal wedding, Thomas, who shares father Thomas Markle Sr. with Meghan, wrote a scathing handwritten letter to Harry, now 36, warning him that it was “not too late” to turn back.

Additionally, he wrote that Meghan was “obviously not the right woman” for Harry and that the “Suits” star was acting “the part of a princess like a below C average Hollywood actress.”

It was publicly known that Thomas was not invited to the wedding of Meghan and Prince Harry, so was his sister, Samantha Markle, who has been vocal about her estrangement from Meghan.

‘Big Brother VIP’ is not the first time Thomas has used his half-sister’s name and celebrity status to gain attention, and it is unlikely that this will be the last time.

He has appeared in a beer advertisement alongside a Meghan lookalike in 2019, where he attempted to steal Queen Elizabeth II’s crown in Buckingham Palace but instead chose a case of beer.

“I don’t think anyone would be upset by it. It’s not going to piss anyone off,” Thomas told The Post at the time, implying that Meghan and the members of the royal family would find the advertisement humorous.

Caitlyn Jenner and Omarosa Manigault Newman round up the cast of ‘Big Brother VIP.’

Kit Harington Opens Up About His Depression and ‘Pretty Traumatic’ Addiction Struggles

Kit Harington, a two-time Emmy Award nominee, stated that he had to overcome personal challenges before becoming a father with his wife, Rose Leslie. The 34-year-old Game of Thrones star recently admitted that he “went through some pretty horrible stuff” following the conclusion of the famous HBO series in 2019.

“Things that have happened to me since Thrones ended, and that were happening during Thrones, were of a pretty traumatic nature, and they did include alcohol,” he told The Sunday Times.

“You get to a place where you feel like you are a bad person; you feel like you are a shameful person. And you feel that there’s no way out; that’s just who you are. And getting sober is the process of going, ‘No, I can change,'” Harington continued.

“One of my favorite things I learned recently is that the expression ‘a leopard doesn’t change its spots’ is completely false: that a leopard actually does change its spots. I just think that’s the most beautiful thing. It really helped. That was something I kind of clung to; the idea that I could make this huge fundamental change in who I was and how I went about my life.”

In May of 2019, he checked into the Privé-Swiss retreat in Connecticut, where he was treated for “mainly alcohol” throughout his stay.

“Kit has decided to utilize this break in his schedule as an opportunity to spend some time at a wellness retreat to work on some personal issues,” Harington’s rep told PEOPLE at the time.

Harington also revealed to The Sunday Times that he had suicidal thoughts.

“Yes, of course. I went through periods of real depression where I wanted to do all sorts of things,” he explained, adding that he hoped to be open about it would “maybe help someone, somewhere. But I definitely don’t want to be seen as a martyr or special. I’ve been through something; it’s my stuff. If it helps someone, that’s good.”

The actor also spoke about its strain on his marriage to Game of Thrones co-star Leslie, 34, whom he married in Scotland in June 2018.

“You can imagine the stresses that it causes to those around you,” he explained.

Following the couple’s announcement of their pregnancy in September, their spokeswoman confirmed to PEOPLE in February that they had welcomed a son and are “very, very happy.”

Durant Named Tokyo Olympics MVP, Joins FIBA’s Five All-Stars

During the Tokyo Olympics, Kevin Durant looked every bit the best player in the world, leading Team USA in the first half of the gold medal game and finished with 29 points.

No surprise, FIBA named Durant the men’s basketball MVP at the Tokyo Olympics. This comes on the heels of the Brooklyn Nets announcing Durant had agreed to a four-year, $198 million contract extension. Durant has had a good week.

Durant was also nominated to FIBA’s five-player all-tournament team for the Tokyo Games. On the men’s side, FIBA’s five all-stars are all NBA players, but only one is from the United States. The remaining four players represented their respective countries: Spain (Ricky Rubio), Australia (Patty Mills), Slovenia (Luka Doncic), and France (Luka Doncic) (Rudy Gobert).

FIBA also announced its five women’s team all-stars, and there was plenty of basketball talent to choose from. There was no debate over such selections; they were apparent. Throughout the Olympic tournament, Breanna Stewart, the best and most consistent American woman, was named the women’s Olympics MVP, while a few other American women could have made the case.

For the women, Breanna Stewart and A’ja Wilson represented the WNBA, and teams and leagues from throughout the world were also given representation.

Rui Machida, Japan’s breakout star, is a member of the national squad. Emma Meesseman of Belgium, the 2019 WNBA Finals MVP, is currently a Russian player following a seven-year tenure with the Washington Mystics. Sandrine Gruda, a French player who spent several years in the WNBA, now plays in Italy.

It’s also worth noting that Durant and Stewart both recovered from torn Achilles tendon tears to win Olympic MVP honors, proving that a torn Achilles is no longer the end of a career, at least not with the proper player and breakthroughs in medical science and recovery.

Former Tesla Employee Awarded $1 Million in a Discrimination Lawsuit, Alleging an ‘Abusive and Hostile’ Workplace

Melvin Berry, a former Tesla employee, has been awarded $1 million in damages after stating that his supervisors used racist insults toward him and that the Tesla workplace was vandalized with swastikas and hate symbols. Berry resigned from his work as a result of his experiences, alleging emotional distress.

Tesla was ordered to pay Melvin Berry approximately $266,000 in damages and $756,000 in attorney’s costs, according to court documents obtained by CBS News.

According to the court filings, Berry began working at Tesla in 2015 but he resigned less than a year later following an incident where he was called the N-word by supervisors at the ‘abusive and hostile’ California facility.

The workplace was defaced with racist iconography, including “graffiti with swastikas and other hate symbols or messages,” according to court records.

Numerous witnesses identified in the records testified that “the N-word was commonplace and tolerated.” On one occasion, Barry’s supervisor allegedly yelled, “N—–, what took you so long,” prompting Barry to take the next day off work. Berry claimed that his job caused him emotional hardship and that he cried or experienced panic attacks in response to alleged racist incidents.

Berry’s lawyer, Jeannette Vaccaro, told CBS MoneyWatch on Friday: “We hope that this award of over $1 million will inspire change at Tesla and send a message to all employers that harassment and discrimination have no place at work.”

Berry’s claims are not the first racial harassment allegations made by Black Tesla employees. As previously reported in Insider, a Black employee stated in sworn testimony that he was called the N-word “about 100 times” within the Tesla premises.

“I hope the public understands that an arbitrator concluded Tesla abuses its employees this way,” Berry told Bloomberg News, which broke the news.

CBS News said that Tesla previously refuted Berry’s charges, noting that the firm stated in a 2017 statement that it “is categorically opposed to any kind of discrimination, harassment, or unfair treatment of any type.”

Tesla did not immediately reply to the Insider’s request for comment.