A recruitment drive by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to find eight male volunteers willing to play the part of astronaut in a two-week stress test for nearly double the monthly salary of a new university graduate has drawn more interest than expected.

JAXA has received more than 2,000 replies, forcing it to put a halt to the application process Monday — two weeks ahead of schedule, according to NHK.

The space agency started the drive last Thursday to recruit people willing to stay at its operations facility in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, in February and take part in various experiments.