Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Reality Show: Mission to Mars!

I'm surprised Fox hasn't thought of televising it. Man, can you imagine trying this thing? How do you not drive each other nuts? Well, apparently, there's a bit of that too...

Volunteers line up for simulated mission to Mars

More than 70 people have volunteered to be confined in a mock mission to Mars – for 520 days. It would be the longest simulation of its kind.

The Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IMBP) in Russia is undertaking the isolation study to learn more about the personal dynamics of long-duration space travel, according to Russian media reports. An actual round-trip mission to Mars could last about 30 months – about twice as long as this simulation.

Five people will be eventually be selected for the study. They will spend 250 days on a simulated space trip to Mars. Then, three of the five will leave the mock spaceship for a simulated "landing on Mars" that will last 30 days. The five participants will then embark on a 240-day journey "back to Earth". They will communicate with mission control by email.

Russia and the European Space Agency have done space isolation studies before. In these studies, researchers accurately reproduce the interior environment of a spaceship and the length of time crews would spend in space.

Full Article from NewScientist.

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