highly anticipated 520-day simulation of a manned mission to Mars is
now underway in a virtual spacecraft that is located in Moscow.As
part of the monitored test, all six participants will not be able to
leave the controlled environment until the project ends in November
2011. The first 250 days will focus on a mock flight to Mars,
with a 30-day scheduled "exploration" of the Martian
surface, and a 230-day return trip.There are three Russians,
one French citizen, one Italian-Colombian, and one Chinese citizen
currently living in the Mars500 isolation facility. The crew
will have two days off each week, but must remain inside of the
capsule during the entire mock mission."Certainly, the
crew is largely
on its own here, with very limited communications with the
outside world," said Martin Zell, ESA Director of Human
Spaceflight, in an interview with the AP. "They have to
cope internally with a lot of conditions and to organize
themselves."The six-man crew will be able to communicate
with their friends and family using the internet -- which will be
interrupted to help mimic in-space communications -- and can only
consume canned and freeze dried supplies like on the International
Space Station (ISS).Some critics have said that this mission
isn't realistic, but the organizers of the mission, led by the
European, Russian and Chinese space programs, said it will give the
countries a better insight into how certain technologies will work in
space.As the ISS mission winds down, space nations already
have their sights set on manned missions to Mars. It's likely
the moon will be used as a stepping stone to the Red Planet, as it'll
still be decades before a country is expected to launch a crew to
quote: Then they can bone their way... [to] Uranus.
quote: TextWhat would happen if there was a mixed gender crew and someone got pregnant.
quote: by jdsal on June 4, 2010 at 1:45 AMWhat would happen if there was a mixed gender crew and someone got pregnant. The child could potentially be either born in space or on Mars.Would that child be an Earthling or the first citizen of Mars?Makes me wonder...
quote: Valeri Polyakov, launched 8 January 1994 (Soyuz TM-18), stayed at Mir LD-4 for 437.7 days, during which he orbited the earth about 7,075 times and traveled 300,765,000 km (186,887,000 mi), returning 22 March 1995 (Soyuz TM-20).
quote: 6 people locked in a capsule eating canned and frozen goods for 520 days is more of a psychology experiment more than anything.