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Waspie_Dwarf

Choosing the right people to go to Mars

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Asteroid deflection mission seeks smashing ideas

simulatedmarswalknodefu.jpg

Simulated Marswalk

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.

Credits: ESA/IBMP

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.

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My first thought is to send all prisoners to Mars. After all there have been so many futuristic movies with prison colonies circling the planet. :P

But on a more practical and realistic note, I am glad they are doing these simulations rather than just relying on data to figure things out and prepare those who go to Mars. Whenever we do go, it will be too monumental an occasion not to have everyone as fully prepared as possible.

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My first thought is to send all prisoners to Mars.

Oh good, transportation. It's great to see that the barbaric practices of colonial Britain are still very much alive in the minds of some people.

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I would be interested in seeing how this experiment would pan out with 6 people chosen randomly "off the streets", not scientists or Engineers...

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