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Mars Landing Simulation Practice Started
February 4, 2011 16:22

Participants of a famous simulation of manned mission to Mars, called “Mars-500”, are now at most interesting stage of the project – VIRTU technology guides six volunteers, isolated from any external influence possible, through a process of a future “landing” on the Red planet.

The simulation takes place in the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems, located in Moscow, where the mission simulation module had been built. Special software helps “cosmonauts” to practice in “landing” on Mars, which is a part of the project.

After landing on Martian “surface”, project participants will first examine the landing site and later – begin exploration of the surface by means of large and small Mars rovers. Among other things, “space explorers” will perform bore soil and rock in order to find water sources near the landing site. Another important thing to practice is assisting an injured “cosmonaut”, as well as practicing instant emergency evacuation from the research site during a severe meteoritic shower.

Other challenges for brave “space explorers” of the Red planet include exploration of the planet’s “surface” during a sand storm, and training how to behave during an automated take-off from the Martian surface.



Crewmembers near their spaceship
The international Mars flight simulation team is headed by a Russian citizen Aleksey Sitnev. There are two more Russians “aboard” the mission – a doctor Sukhrob Kamolov and a research cosmonaut Alexander Smolevsky. International part of the crew consists of a French citizen Roman Charles, and two researchers – an Italian Diego Urbina and a Chinese Wang Yue.

February 12 will be a notable day for the whole crew – the team will be divided into two groups, the module’s hatch will be closed, and a special module will “land” on the surface of the Red planet. First “mars walk” at the “Martian surface” is scheduled for February 14. Lucky “Mars conquerors” are Alexander Smolevsky and Diego Urbina. Second visit to the Red planet is scheduled for February 18 with Alexander Smolevsky and Wang Yue. The third and the last stroll on Mars will happen on February 22, performed by Alexander Smolevsky and Diego Urbina again.

February 23, Day of Russian Army, in the calendar of “space explorers” is the day of the take-off – this day the module will “leave” the surface of “Mars”. Then the module will perform docking with the “spaceship”, waiting for the travelers on the orbit, and those, who stepped on another planet, will spend some time in quarantine, which starts on February 24. End of the quarantine and opening of a hatch between the module and the main “spaceship” is scheduled on February 27. The crew will be united on this day.

Hatches of the “Martian spaceship” will be covered on March 1.

The simulation of manned mission to Mars “Mars-500” started on June 3, 2010, when six volunteers have shut the hatches of a “spaceship” – a terrestrial imitation of a Martian space vehicle. The research experiment has three main stages: a 250-day-long “flight” from our planet to Mars, some time spent on its “surface” and 240-day-long “transfer back to Earth”. The Martian spaceship is built in Moscow at research facilities of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems and contains research module, landing module and living module, as well as storage facilities a small greenhouse.

Source: RIA Novosti

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian scientists Russian science space   

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