Asteroid deflection mission seeks smashing ideas
Training on the simulated martian terrain of Mars500. The mock planet was 10 m long and 6 m wide, covered with reddish sand to resemble the surface of Gusev crater.
16 January 2013 When humans eventually travel to the Red Planet, the voyage will be long and difficult. The simulated Mars500 mission showed that every detail must be planned, including diet and sleep. The findings will also benefit those of us who stay behind.
Mars500 locked six ‘marsonauts’ in a simulated spaceship near Moscow, Russia for 520 days, the time it would take to fly to Mars and back plus 30 days spent exploring its surface.
During their simulated mission, the crew lived in isolation without fresh food, sunlight or fresh air.
The international participants had no external cues such as the Sun going down at night to remind them when to sleep. Instead, they relied on artificial cues to regulate their sleep patterns such as checking their watches or being woken by other crewmembers.