Artist’s representation of a human mission to Mars.
Image credit: NASA/ David Mattingly and Pat Rawlings.
A crew of six, including two Europeans, will soon begin a simulated mission to Mars in a mockup that includes an interplanetary spaceship, a Mars lander and a martian landscape. The Mars500 experiment, as long as a real journey to Mars, will be second to none as the ultimate test of human endurance.
Four ESA-selected Europeans, Belgian Jerome Clevers, Arc’hanmael Gaillard and Romain Charles from France and Colombian-Italian Diego Urbina, started the mission training at the end of February with the other crew-members at the Russian Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow. Two of these four candidates will be selected as European participants in Mars500. This first full-duration simulated mission to Mars will start in a special human habitat at IBMP in Moscow next summer.
The Mars500 name comes from the blueprint for a possible human Mars mission in the future using conventional propulsion: 250 days for the trip to Mars, 30 days on the martian surface and 240 days for the return journey, totalling 520 days. (read more)