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Stranger Than Fiction: Volunteers to Simulate 520-Day Mars Trip

Want to go to Mars without ever leaving Earth? You're in luck! The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking for six international volunteers to participate in a simulated voyage to Mars. The catch: you will have to live and work in a sealed facility in Moscow, Russia for 520 days.

The project, which sounds like a perfect premise for a reality show, will investigate the psychological and medical implication of such a long journey. It will include the full round-trip to Mars, and a 30-day stay on the planet. Just think, it takes almost a year to get there, and then you just get to stay for 30 days! Bummer! The hope is that the findings can be used to actually send humans to Mars sometime in the future.

The simulation begins in 2010. Would you ever consider signing up?

Image Source: Getty
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Spacekatdude Spacekatdude 7 years
This reminds me of a lot of the experiments they did with would-be and real astronauts in the fifties and sixties, where they thought people would go insane in cramp pod in outer space. One of the first episodes of "The Twilight Zone" is on this subject - it's called "Where Is Everybody?" and it's about a guy who wanders around this empty village, completely devoid of human life - and it turns out he's in an isolation tank simulating a long space journey and he's gone insane. It turns out that lots of people have been in space for a really long time - the Russians have long held the space endurance records. Russian Sergei Krikalyov has the record, with 803 total days in space, over six flights. (He was actually in space when the Soviet Union collapsed, and is sometimes considered the world's last USSR citizen.) No astronaut has ever gone crazy in space. But what might be interesting is to know about how a mixed male/female crew of 6 will deal with romance and sex and relationships over that period. I think "The Hills" would be a lot more interesting if it took place on the way to Mars and back.
kcmosinki kcmosinki 7 years
so you are in a spaceship for 2 years and then you roam around mars for a month? and i can't even brag and say i've been to real mars, just Russia. If it didn't take such a long time I'd consider it but I'd miss my family and friends and God only knows the person I'll have become when I get back. I'd have to adjust and catch up on everything, I'm assuming they won't be streaming episodes of Ugly Betty.
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