On Monday, an international team of six men landed on "Mars." They walked across a wide space, strewn with red dust, sand and stones, under a black, starry sky, where they will conduct experiments in the next week.
This waterless terrain is inside a warehouse in Moscow.
"Touchdown" was about the middle of the 520-day simulated mission to our planetary neighbor, and vice versa.
The team, which includes Diego Urbina (Italy / Colombia), Romain Charles (France), Alexey Sitev (Russia), Sukhrob Kamolov (Russia), Smoleevsky Alexander (Russia) and Wang Yue (China), "departed" June 3, 2010 year. In reality, they were closed for the isolated object, the volume of 550 cubic meters.
Mars500 mission, a joint project of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), will test how people experience extreme physiological and psychological stress while in space flight for one and half years.
Patrick Sandbled, who heads the division of nature (biology, medicine) at ESA, said that after eight months in isolation, the team is doing well. "Of course we know that they have a hard time mentally, but I must say that the selection was successful, in the sense that all the guys are very stable. They managed to survive periods of monotony, which may become more frequent in the conflicts within the group, and the same with the control center in the world. "
Team overcomes the monotony of a measured regime of sleep-wake cycles, exercise, training in virtual reality, as well as conducting experiments on himself and the environment.
The control center conducted tests on the team’s ability to respond to emergencies. They pretended to fire and no electricity for two days. In addition to the fact that they were in almost complete darkness for 48 hours, the ventilation system, which cleans the air insulating chamber is also out of order.
It was so realistic, Sandbled said that "after the simulation is over, they do not immediately come to believe that it was only a simulation. They thought everything was real."
The "fly back" in October of this year. This experiment in isolation, is the largest project of its kind and will be a significant step forward to putting into practice a manned flight to the Red Planet.