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TOPIC: Mars mission (sim) 2


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Mars mission
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Sending astronauts to Mars will present a host of health risks, from radiation showers to sheer boredom. One of the biggest threats is the extra-fine dust that coats the planet. And the problem is, researchers have never had any sample of the powdery grit to study, so they don't know exactly how it behaves or what its health effects might be.
Two enormous dust storms raging on Mars now serve to remind scientists of the threats facing future Martian explorers.
Among the concerns: Astronauts could get a real charge out of simply walking around.

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Mars exploration Arctic simulation mission
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The Mars Society's four-month Mars exploration Arctic simulation mission, the first of its kind, reached its halfway point today, and will now begin a unique experiment by shifting its operational cycle to Mars time.
The long-duration simulated Mars mission on Devon Island in the high Canadian Arctic has been operating successfully for two months. The seven-person crew of the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) has conducted a comprehensive program of geological and microbiological field exploration in the island's Mars-like polar desert, 900 miles from the North Pole, all while operating under many of the same constraints that human explorers would face on Mars. By doing so, they are learning from direct experience many lessons that will be of critical value when human explorers actually set foot on the red planet.

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Mars test
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The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking for two volunteers that -- together with four Russians -- will participate in a Mars mission. Including "flight time," the participants will have to spend 520 days in metal tanks in Moscow. What will be required of them?

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The European Space Agency (Esa) is after volunteers for a simulated human trip to Mars, in which six crewmembers spend 17 months in an isolation tank.
They will live and work in a series of interlocked modules at a research institute in Moscow.
Once the hatches are closed, the crew's only contact with the outside world is a radio link to "Earth" with a realistic delay of 40 minutes.
It sounds like Big Brother, but there are no plans to televise the test.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Simulated Mars mission
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 The European Space Agency has announced a search for volunteers to participate in a 520-day simulated Mars mission.
The experiment is part of the preparation for future space exploration in which astronauts will have to take care of themselves for nearly two years, experiencing extreme isolation and confinement.
The experiment, in cooperation with the Russian Institute of Biomedical Problems, will send a crew of six on a 520-day simulated mission to Mars. The simulation will follow the profile of a real Mars mission, with nutrition identical to that provided on the International Space Station.
The simulations will take place inside a special facility in Moscow. A precursor 105-day study is to start by mid-2008, possibly followed by another 105-day study, before the full 520-day study begins in late 2008 or early 2009.
The ESA is looking for 12 volunteers -- four for each of the three simulations. The selection procedure is similar to that used for ESA astronauts, although there will be more emphasis on psychological factors and stress resistance than on physical fitness.

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Mars500
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Starting in spring next year, a crew of six will be sent on a 500 day simulated mission to Mars. In reality the crew will remain in a special isolation facility in Russia. To investigate the psychological and medical aspects of a long-duration mission, such as to Mars, ESA is looking for experiment proposals for research to be carried out during their stay.
 During the simulated Mars mission, known as Mars500, the crew will be put through all kinds of scenarios as if they really were travelling to the Red Planet including a launch, an outward journey of up to 250 days, arrival at Mars and, after an excursion to the surface, they will face the long journey home.
Locked in the facility in Moscow, the crew will have tasks similar to those they would have on a real space mission. They will have to cope with simulated emergencies; they may even have real emergencies or illnesses. Communication delays of as much as 20 minutes each way will not make life any easier.

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(Ed ~ think Big Brother)

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Date:
Mars mission (sim) 2
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Earth's closest neighbour, Mars, has always intrigued scientists, who now believe that humans could be living and working on the planet within the next 20 years.
To prepare for that possibility, NASA has set up a simulated Mars base - in the desert in the Western state of Utah.



This habitat in the Utah desert was built to replicate living conditions on Mars. The Mars Desert Research Station is one of several sites built by NASA, the United States space agency.
A group of NASA scientists and explorers spend two weeks in this facility, trying to simulate how humans will live on Mars, and while getting there. Travelling to Mars will take years, and the crew must be well prepared, physically and mentally.



Doctor Ephimia Morphew is a space psychologist from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
"When you are in a spacecraft, you cannot vent your frustrations anywhere. All of the frustration is within this capsule, right along with us. There are very few ways to vent (let out your feelings)."
When Doctor Morphew needs to talk individually with someone--she uses the main airlock as her office to ensure privacy. Meanwhile, crew members are collecting rock and soil samples from their surroundings for study. They are operating under full Mars conditions, wearing space suits and gloves.



Penny Boston, a planetary scientist, says this will help determine how scientific study and research will be carried out on Mars.
"It gives us the ability to practice doing stuff in tough circumstances, which all the planning and paper-pushing and imagining, doing it in the world--doesn't prepare you for actually doing."



The crew also uses all-terrain vehicles to navigate rough terrain. A similar vehicle would be needed for travelling from one place to another on Mars.
The daily routine of living together and wearing spacesuits while moving from one place to another, along with research, is not easy. Many times, the crew is frustrated and angry. But this is good training for the future astronauts, who will have to deal with life on Mars, entirely on their own.

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