An experiment designed to simulate the conditions of a long-haul Mars trip has revealed several problems.
The Mars500 project saw 6 individuals spend more than 17 months locked within a special simulated spacecraft with the work cycle and responsibilities typical of a potential manned mission to Mars. Results from the experiment have revealed that such a mission would be far tougher on the crew than conventional trips in to space and that isolation and sleep deprivation represented key issues that the astronauts would need to be able to cope with on a long voyage.
"Two crew members coped really well with this prolonged confinement and isolation," said Professor Mathias Basner who was involved in the sleep study. "But four of them had a problem where you would think you don't want to send someone like this on the mission or if you do, you want to know that this subject is vulnerable and train him or her properly."
"Some of the first results from a simulation of a mission to Mars show that some of the crew experienced isolation and mild depression."
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Source: BBC News
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