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Mars500 is a 520-day simulated mission to Mars. The sealed mockup includes an interplanetary spaceship, a Mars lander and a martian landscape. Housed in Russia’s Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow, the modules provide 550 m³ of living space.
The crew will have in the chamber food that shall last for the full duration, and the crew has to manage their consumption accordingly. Communication is only via e-mail and the connection will occasionally be disrupted. It will include also a maximum of 40-minute delay, as on a real Mars mission. They will be monitored and their psychological and physiological parameters recorded throughout the mission.
The experiment, as long as a real journey to Mars, will test technologies for extremely long flights, but it is also unique as a test of human endurance.
Like a real spaceflight
The crew will live and work like astronauts on the International Space Station, and their life will resemble that of Station astronauts: maintenance, scientific experiments and daily exercise. They will follow a seven-day week, with two days off, except when special and emergency situations are simulated.
During the 'surface operations' after 250 days, the crew will be divided, with three moving to the martian 'surface', while the other three remain in the orbiting 'spacecraft' for a month. The landing crew will venture out on the 'Martian' surface wearing modified Russian Orlan spacesuits.