Six men get ready for 520-day simulated Mars trip
By Dmitry Solovyov | Reuters.com
Six men from Russia, Europe and China are preparing to spend 520 days together in a sealed-off warren to take a simulated trip to Mars to test how long isolation would affect humans.
Seven volunteers for the Mars500 experiment, which simulates a 520-day flight to Mars, pose for a picture in Moscow May 18, 2010. Credit: REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
On June 3, three Russians, an Italian-Colombian, a Frenchman and a Chinese man will be locked up in a set of cramped compartments as the record-breaking Mars500 simulated flight to the Red Planet gets underway to last until November 2011.
"This 520-day flight to Mars ... is unprecedented in its overall duration," Martin Zell, European Space Agency (ESA) head of the experiment, told Reuters.
"I think when talking about a human mission to the Red Planet, it will probably still take 20 or, more likely, even 30 years to go there," said Zell, who is also in charge of ESA human missions to the $100-billion, 16-nation International Space Station (ISS).
The six men, allowed just three square meters of "personal space" each at the facilities at Moscow’s Institute of Biomedical Problems, will follow a seven-day week, with two days off, except when special and emergency situations are simulated.
Romain Charles of France, 31, a volunteer for the Mars500 experiment, which simulates a 520-day flight to Mars, poses for a picture near a confinement module. Credit: REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
A technician participating in the Mars500 experiment, which simulates a 520-day flight to Mars, is seen entering a confinement module. Credit: REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
The crew, to be led by a Russian, will live and work like ISS astronauts, and their life will resemble that of Station members: maintenance, scientific experiments and daily exercise.
During the "surface operations" after 250 days, they will be divided, with three moving to the Martian "surface," while the other three stay in the orbiting "spacecraft" for a month.
PAVING THE WAY FOR THE FUTURE
Last year four Russians, one German and a Frenchman successfully completed a 105-day simulated trip to Mars at the same institute.
This time, the six-men crew will also be monitored closely, and their psychological and physiological parameters will be recorded during the mission.
All crew members have a varying command of English, but not all speak Russian, another working language during the trip.
"If we fail to understand each other, we will employ body language," quipped Russian crew member Sukhrob Kamolov.
Communication with Earth will be only via e-mail, with connections occasionally disrupted. It will include a maximum 40-minute delay, as on a real Mars mission.
The six upbeat "astronauts" did not conceal their emotions, despite the fact that none of them will probably ever make a real trip to Mars.
China’s Wang Yue, the only crew member trained as a professional astronaut, mentioned competition in space -- in line with Beijing’s ambition to launch its crew to Mars one day.
"I think Mars500 must be a milestone in the human space race, in human space history," Wang told a joint news conference. "Space exploration is difficult and huge, it needs international cooperation, so I am lucky to be here."
Other crewmembers shared his sentiments.
"If I can put my small brick into this big wall linking Earth to Mars, I will be very proud," said Frenchman Romain Charles. "Hopefully my grandchildren will go to Mars one day, and I will be able to tell them: ’I was part of it.’"
Article from: Reuters.com
NASA: Evidence of life on Mars
Google Liquid Galaxy Machine Sends Users on Immersive Tour of Earth, Moon, and Mars
Whistleblower Laura Magdalene Eisenhower, Ike’s great-granddaughter, outs secret Mars colony project
USA already went to Mars : NASA astronaut Gene Cernan
Is Colonizing Mars an Imperative? Obama’s New Space Strategy Says "Yes"
A One-Way, One-Person Mission to Mars
The Vanishing Mars Probes: 1989/1993
Too much radiation for astronauts to make it to Mars
Space Wheat Could Feed Astronauts on Mars
Britain could finance manned Mars mission
Mars May Still Be A Living Planet, Methane In Atmosphere Reveals
Is there a Life On Mars Conspiracy?
Latest News from our Front Page
Baby born still INSIDE his amniotic sac is hailed a ‘medical miracle’ by doctors [Video]
What an incredible miracle… Not only was the little boy three months early – he was born inside his amniotic sac. I’ve never heard of this happening before. If you look at the picture, you can see him clearly with his little arms and legs curled up. He was still being given oxygen by his mom until the sac was ...
California Infant Dies after 8 Vaccines, Family Gets Him Back from Hospital Cremated
Parents in California are distraught after losing their infant son after being vaccinated. He died in his sleep and was taken to the hospital already deceased. Hospital staff ruled his death as sudden infant death syndrome. The couple was told an autopsy was required to be performed on their son.
After returning home, waiting to get an update, they never received ...
DNA: Data-storage for eternity
How can we preserve our knowledge today for the next millennia? ETH researchers have found a way to store information in the form of DNA, preserving it for nearly an eternity.
Scrolls thousands of years old provide us with a glimpse into long-forgotten cultures and the knowledge of our ancestors. In this digital era, in contrast, a large part of our ...
Hypercleanliness is making us sick - Children develop allergies and eczema
Could using a dishwashing machine increase the chances your child will develop allergies? That's what some provocative new research suggests — but don't tear out your machine just yet.
The study involved 1,029 Swedish children (ages 7 or 8) and found that those whose parents said they mostly wash the family's dishes by hand were significantly less likely to develop eczema, ...
USDA: Can’t We Just Scan Food to See GMO Ingredients?
Tom Vislack, secretary of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) told Congress that labeling genetically modified foods (GMOs) could be unnecessary if customers “use their phones to scan special bar codes or other symbols on food packages in the grocery store” to determine the ingredients and identify GMOs.
Vislack said: “Industry could solve that issue in a heartbeat.”
This idea “could have ...
|More News » |