Mars probe mission ‘reaches’ Red Planet

February 12th, 2011 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Feb 12 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The crew of Mars-500 project, which aims to investigate how humans cope with psychological and physiological stress on a lengthy spaceflight, landed on the “surface” of the Red Planet Saturday.The six-man multi-national crew has been sealed since June inside a mocked-up spaceship without sun or fresh water.

“The simulated touchdown was successfully completed at noon Moscow time [15:00 GMT],” said a spokesman for Russia’s Institute of Biomedical Problems that runs the project with the participation of the European Space Agency (ESA).

On Feb 14, three of the group - Alexander Smoliyevsky, Diego Urbina and Wang Yue - will descend onto the planet, don spacesuits and walk on its “surface”, which in reality will be the sandy floor inside a large hangar in Moscow.

After 30 days working on the Red Planet, the crew will then embark on a 240-day return trip to Earth.

–IANS/RIA Novsoti

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