International Team of Researches to Complete Simulated Trip to MarsBy Chris Weiss
A group of researchers from several countries have launched the Mars-500 experiment in Russia, a 520-day experiment designed to simulate a trip to Mars. The mission, sponsored by the Moscow-based Institute for Medical and Biological Problems, European Space Agency and China’s space training center, got underway today.
The six researchers involved will live in windowless steel capsules where they’ll simulate conditions of interplanetary travel, eating canned foods and performing tasks and experiments. They will be video monitored the entire time and will communicate via the Internet, which will be time-delayed to simulate what would be experienced if they were actually on their way to Mars. The experiment is designed to help actual space crews deal with the conditions of traveling to Mars.
Martin Zell of the ESA’s Directorate of Human Spaceflight said to the AP: “Certainly, the crew is largely on its own here, with very limited communications with the outside world. They have to cope internally with a lot of conditions and to organize themselves.” [via AP] [Photo: kevindooley]