Categories
Featured Sci/Tech

Mars Simulation Nearing Completion

I mentioned this mission back when it started, and now it is nearing completion (you may need a New Scientist login to view that article).  What I’m talking about is Mars 500, an experiment to test the psychological stresses of long-term spaceflight, such as what would be required on a trip to the Red Planet.

 the “spacecraft”: a set of interconnected cylindrical modules. The windowless chambers are locked and soundproofed, with air and water piped in. The six volunteers inside eat only what they brought and what they can grow.

They also simulate the communication delays, with messages taking an appropriate amount of time to reach them, so they have to solve problems on their own.  It’s neat stuff.  I wonder if that French guy’s guitar survived the ‘trip’, though.

Categories
Sci/Tech

Simulating Mars

There is a simulation going on in Russia right now, with a team of  ‘astronauts’ living in a series of modules designed to resemble a ship flying to Mars.  They are stuck together in there for 520 days, about how long it would take to fly to Mars, to test whether 6 random scientists could stay level-headed and relaxed after all that time.  This line, though, kills me:

“Well aware of this hazard, crew members equipped themselves accordingly. For instance, French participant Romain Charles said he was bringing along a guitar so he could entertain the other team members.”

I’m SURE that’s what I’d want if I was locked in a spaceship with a bunch of other dudes for a year and a half, and one of them is a French guy with a guitar.  I sure hope the rest of them have some noise isolating headphones.