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Friday, December 4, 2009

Candidates chosen for Mars500

Sorry, you missed your chance.

The European Space Agency and Russia’s Institute of Biomedical Problems (pessimistic name choice?) conducted a search for volunteers to simulate a mission to Mars. The simulation is part of the Mars500 programme conducted by the two organizations.

The search ended last month. Six volunteers were chosen for the simulation from a pool of qualified candidates from member nations. Because the actual trip to Mars is expected to take about 520 days, including 30 days to explore the planet, this group of volunteers will spend that amount of time sealed up together in a facility in Moscow.

Obviously, they won’t be able to test the affects of space flight itself, such as weightlessness, but they will undergo extensive medical and psychological testing.

This 520 day experiment follows a successful 105 day study which was completed in June.