Mock Mars Mission Blasts Off

Experimenters will spend 105 days locked in fake spaceship
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2009 12:26 PM CDT
Mock Mars Mission Blasts Off
Researchers, from left, French Cyrille Fournier, and Russians Sergei Ryazansky, and Oleg Artemyev seen at a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 31, 2009.   (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

(Newser) – Europe launched its first shot at a manned mission to the Red Planet today—by locking six scientists in a tiny capsule in Moscow for 105 days to simulate the voyage, the BBC reports. The volunteers, who can leave the experiment but score $20000 if they make it, will perform similar maintenance tasks and experience the same isolation and claustrophobia as real astronauts. “It is really like a real space flight without the weightlessness and the danger to our lives,” said Sergei Ryazansky, one of the would-be astronauts.

“On the inside, we will have a lack of incoming information, so it’s the science of sensory deprivation,” Ryazansky said. That includes a 20-minute delay for any communications with command to simulate the time needed for voice to travel to Earth and back. This experiment is a test run, with, a more serious 520-day simulation planned for next year.
(Read more Mars stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X