Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A Simulated Trip To Mars

From 3 June, the Mars 500 project will send a "crew" of six on a simulated 520-day round trip to the Red Planet and back.
The cosmonauts - three Russians, a Chinese, a Frenchman and an Italian - will live and work as interplanetary travellers, spending eight hours a day working on maintenance and scientific experiments, eight hours at leisure and eight hours sleeping.

Organisers at the European Space Agency and Russia's Institute of Biomedical Problems hope that the project will offer an insight into how such a mission would function. But above all, the most significant assessment they will make will be how it affects the subjects psychologically.

Any communication between the crew and mission control will be subject to 20-minute delay to simulate the time it would take for signals to reach Earth. Meanwhile, cameras will monitor them 24 hours a day.
With no access to telephones, internet or natural light, breathing only recycled air and showering once every 10 days, the men are certain to have both their individual mental states and group dynamics tested to the limits in the 550-cubic-metre simulator.


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