Check Out NASA’s Retro Mars Recruitment Posters

Farmers, teachers, surveyors and engineers will all be needed in the envisaged Mars settlement

NASA envisions some workers will live on one of Mars' moons, Phobos, to mine for resources. Settlers below on the planet would see Phobos rise and set not once, but twice in one day. NASA
Hike the solar system's largest canyon, Valles Marineris on Mars, where you can catch blue sunsets in the twilight, and see the two moons of Mars (Phobos and Deimos) in the night sky. NASA
Matt Damon's got nothing on you. Future Mars settlements will require next-gen farmers with a knack for tempting life to spring up in desolate places. NASA
Just what lies beyond the next valley, canyon, crater, or hill is NASA's perpetual question. NASA
Whether repairing an antenna in the extreme environment of Mars, or setting up an outpost on the moon Phobos, having the skills and desire to dare will be in great demand. NASA
Envisaged Mars settlements will require teachers to guide the next generation of Martians. NASA
Are you someone who can put things together, solving challenges to ensure survival? Future Mars settlements will require both spaceships for transport and habitats for protection. NASA
NASA plays off of the iconic Uncle Sam recruitment poster for their final addition to the collection. NASA

Many people may know that Mars Needs Moms, but when human colonization of the Red Planet begins in earnest, it will also need farmers, teachers and surveyors. Or at least that’s according to NASA's retro-style Mars Mission recruiting posters.

The posters were originally commissioned for a 2009 exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center. Now, the agency has released high-resolution images of the artwork for anyone wishing for a reminder of an imagined space future. The fanciful artwork includes job descriptions with a little dose of science.

“Work the Night Shift on Martian Moon Phobos: Night owls welcome!" touts the sologan on one poster. "If you lived on Mars' moon Phobos, you'd have an office with a view, mining for resources with Mars in the night sky. Settlers below on Mars would see Phobos rise and set not once, but twice in one day!”

The images are part of a boom in retro travel posters to other worlds. Last year, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released five retro posters as part of their Visions of the Future poster series. Earlier this year they added more for a total of 14, including trips to exoplanets like  Kepler-16b, traveling to Mars, visiting the geysers of Saturn’s moon Enceladus and taking a Grand Tour of the outer Solar System. Last year, private exploration firm SpaceX also got into the game, releasing three 1950’s-style travel posters about visiting Mars on its Flickr account.

The posters are fun, but they also have more serious purpose—raising the profile of and inspiring interest in space exploration. The Jet Propulsion Lab has its own art studio which helps design and illustrate ideas and projects and helps communicate ideas to the public. 

According to David Delgado, a creative strategist at JPL, the lab’s director saw similar retro posters while visiting the Grand Canyon. He suggested the studio work on a series of posters in a similar style celebrating some of the things NASA is currently exploring, including exoplanets and moons in our solar system. “The point was to share a sense of things on the edge of possibility that are closely tied to the work our people are doing today,” says Delgado.

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