Six selected for Mars flight simulation experiment

February 27th, 2009 - 1:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Feb 27 (RIA Novosti) Six people, who will take part in a 105-day experiment to simulate a flight to Mars, have been selected by scientists at the Moscow-based Russian Institute of Medical and Biological Problems.
Four Russians - astronauts Oleg Artemyev, Sergei Ryazansky, Alexei Baranov, a doctor, and sports physiologist Alexei Shpakov - and two members of the European Space Agency, France’s Cyrille Fournier, a civilian pilot, and Germany’s Oliver Knickel, a mechanical engineer, will take part in the experiment.

Initially, six Russians and four Europeans wanted to participate in the institute’s project.

All participants will receive 15,500 euros ($20,000) each, Institute spokesman Mark Belakovsky said.

Institute Director Igor Ushakov said the 105-day trial is a continuation of the 14-day experiment of November 2007 and precedes the main event, a 520-day simulation flight due to start in late 2009.

The 520-day experiment will simulate all aspects of the journey including the 250-day one-way trip to the Red Planet, a 30-day stay on its surface, and the 240-day return flight.

During nearly two years of isolation, crew members will experience many of the conditions likely to be encountered by astronauts on a real space flight.

They will stick to a rigid daily regime of work, rest and exercise, and follow the diet of crews aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

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