520 Day Mission To Mars
November 4, 2011 by staff
520 Day Mission To Mars, Pale but smiling, an international research team on Friday left a set of modules windows, after a grueling 520-day simulation of a flight to Mars. The crew of all men of three Russians, a Frenchman, an Italian-Colombian and a Chinese plant slowly emerged from the west of Moscow, which simulates the confinement, stress and fatigue of interplanetary travel – under weightlessness. Dressed in blue sportswear emblazoned with the emblem of the mission, carefully walked down a metal ladder to a greeting public officials and journalists.
“The team has completed the experiment,” said team leader Alexey Sitev Russian space officials. “The mission is accomplished, the team is in good health and ready for new missions.”
IN PICTURES: On board the International Space Station
Psychologists said the prolonged confinement without natural light and fresh air as the team under pressure as they grow increasingly tired of each other’s company. They said the psychological conditions may even be more difficult in a simulation of actual flight mission because the crew did not experience the euphoria or dangers of actual space travel.
However, the team showed no signs of stress as they approached the microphone to speak on camera. “We hope that we can help in the design of future missions to Mars,” said the Frenchman Romain Charles, with a smile.
His crewmate Italian-Colombian Diego Urbina said the crew was proud to achieve imitation longest history of space flight, so that “humanity may one day greet a new dawn in the distant planet’s surface but achievable. ”
The installation at the Moscow Institute of Medical and Biological Problems, Russian premiere medical center space includes living compartments the size of a bus, connected with several other similar sized modules for experiments and exercises.
During the experiment, the crew contacted the organizers and their families through the Internet, which was delayed and interrupted occasionally to mimic the effects of space travel. They ate canned food similar to that given in the International Space Station.
Halfway through the mission, the crew conducted a mock even landing on Mars, venturing from their lack of space in heavy space suits walk into a room covered with sand and place flags of Russia, China and the Agency European Space in a simulated Mars. They also took “samples” of the land and carried out scientific experiments in imitation.
Organizers said each crew member will be paid about 100,000, except the Chinese researcher whose reward has not been revealed by the Chinese authorities.
The crew will spend three days in quarantine to minimize the risk of infection before holding a press conference. Sitev, who led the team in the quarter a few weeks after marriage, said he dreams of going to the beach.
“I want to go somewhere warm sea, as we lost two summers here,” he said in remarks carried by news agency RIA Novosti, shortly before completing the mission. “My thoughts are drifting toward the sea swimming and sunbathing on hot sand.”
Urbina told RIA Novosti that he would like to have a holiday in the Caribbean and spend the money he earned in a sports car and a pilot training field.
Organizers said they had considered some candidates for the experiment, but left out for several reasons. Deliberately denied that he had formed a team of all men because of the lack of a similar simulation in the past.
The experiment of 1999-2000 ended in bitterness when a Canadian woman complained of being forcibly kissed by a Russian team captain after a fistfight between two members of the Russian crew that left blood splattered on the walls. Russian officials downplayed the incident, attributed to cultural differences and stress.
A real flight to Mars is decades away, because of the huge costs and enormous technological challenges, especially the task of creating a compact and relatively lightweight shield that protects the crew from deadly space radiation.
NASA is targeting a nearby asteroid around 2025 and then to Mars in the 2030s.
Vitaly Davydov, a deputy director of the Russian space agency, said the experiment ended Friday will help pave the way for a real mission to Mars. He added that is not expected until mid 2030 and should be done in close cooperation.
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