After 520 days, 6 international researches have completed their mission to Mars. The all-male crew emerged from their windowless module this morning after completing a simulation flight to the red planet. The men were pale, but otherwise healthy.
Team leader Alexey Sitev, said:
“The crew has completed the experiment. The mission is accomplished, the crew is in good health and is ready for new missions.”
The Associated Press reports that the 520 day mission to mars simulated the effects of confinement, stress and fatigue which go along with interplanetary travel. The researchers experienced the same conditions, minus the weightlessness, during the simulation that they would have experienced if they actually traveled to Mars.
One of the researchers, Romain Charles, said:
“We hope that we can help in designing the future missions to Mars.”
Psychologists say that the 520 day simulation may have actually been more mentally challenging than a real flight to Mars, since in the simulation, the researchers did not have the excitement of actually traveling through space.
The researchers spent 520 days in living compartments approximately the size of bus. The crew was able to communicate with their families, but to simulate space travel, the communication was delayed and occasionally disrupted. Their diet consisted of the same canned food which is used on the International Space Station.
The crew will now spend three days in quarantine before they are allowed to go out in public.
Stiev, who started the 520 mission to Mars simulation just weeks after getting married, said:
“I want to go somewhere to the warm sea as we have missed two summers here. My thoughts are drifting toward swimming at sea and basking on warm sand.”
Here is a report about the mock Mars mission.
The crew was reportedly paid $100,000 to complete the mission.
Would you be able to spend 520 days in captivity?