Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Science: Russian-European Capricorn One returns safely after 105-day mission to Mars

In a scene reminiscent of the late 1970s film Capricorn One, a joint Russian-European crew landed safely in Moscow after a 105-day simulated mission to the Red Planet. The first phase of a Mars500 isolation study, scientists and medical doctors seek to understand how the physical and psychological performance capabilities of a human can be maintained at normal standards under the extreme conditions faced during a long-term space mission. The crew was comprised of six men and zero women: four from Russia, one from Germany, and one from France.

The second phase of the isolation study is scheduled for March 2010, when a crew will participate in a simulated mission to Mars lasting 520 days. An artificial Martian surface is being constructed, on which three crew members will spend a total of 20 days.

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