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Mars-500 Chronicles: One Month of Total Isolation
July 9, 2010 17:24

It has been 30 days already, since participants of the Mars-500 project were locked in special flight-imitating facilities. There are only 490 days of Martian mission simulation left.

Scientists and medics keep an eye on daily activities and constitution of experiment participants. Experimental module, which now is home for “Martian crewmembers”, is equipped with 24 video cameras, which broadcast live video stream to 24 displays, permanently observed by three assistants – a medic, an engineer, and a technician.

Medics and engineers fully control all parameters of the environment: air pressure, temperature and humidity. Oxygen is supplied automatically. In case of emergency, medical personnel are ready to give a helping hand at all times, a responsible supervisor of the Mars-500 experiment says.

The module’s environment is quite comfortable for those, who live there during the experiment. Air temperature is about 24 degrees Centigrade, air is purified via a special air purification system, and air content is close to gas mixture we usually inhale on our home planet Earth. “Cosmonauts” cook their meals from frozen food, which is quite common for big city dwellers with permanent lack of time.



When the experiment reaches the stage of “mission to the Mars’s surface”, participant will change their diet and eat food, produced at Birulevo experimental plant, which is an official tube food supplier for dwellers of the International space station. During the final stage of the experiment, its participants will eat dried food products, the responsible supervisor of the Mars-500 experiment says..

During 30 days of isolation, projects participants have passed the major part of 105 tests and experiments, expected to be performed during the whole period of Mars flight simulation. Medics, who look after the “cosmonauts”, say that physical and mental state of experiment participants is normal.

The Mars-500 experiment started on June 3, 2010. The experiment is a simulation of a 520-day-long journey to the Red planet and back, during which physical and mental health of participants, as well as many other things will be tested and recorded. Six volunteers agreed to take part in the experiment – three of them (a captain, a mission doctor, and a mission specialist) are Russian citizens. Other parts of the world and nationalities are represented by a Frenchman, who is a flight engineer, an Italian, and a Chinese, two more mission specialists.

The experiment consists of three stages: for 250 days participant of the experiment “fly” from Earth to Mars, then they “spend” 30 days on its “surface”, and return home after a 240day-long “flight” back. After the first stage, the “crew” will divide in two groups. Three men of the first group, wearing “Orlan” spacesuits, will take a pioneering walk on the “Martian surface”, and the other three will “wait” for their friends on a near-Mars orbit.

Source: Mars-500 website

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian scientists Russian science space Russian technologies  

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