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Monday, June 20, 2005



Russia Moving Ahead with Simulated Mars Mission

Yuri Gagarin, early symbol of Russia's space program and the first person in space.
Yuri Gagarin, early symbol of Russia's space program and the first person in space.
Credit: Time Magazine
As previously reported, and now with the help of the ESA, Russia plans on conducting the first realistic simulation of a manned Mars mission, complete with recycled air and other necessary equipment tests. Aimed at a 2010-2016 launch date, the simulation will occur this fall. The program seems to have survived budget cuts due to a problematic economy and the need to support the United States' contribution to the International Space Agency.

Some important features will be the use of telemedicine, a unisex crew of six people with different nationalities aged 25 to 50, and in situ monitoring of most "spacecraft" functions. After the 500- to 700-day time window, the Russians hope to move forward to testing other features of a Mars mission.

The time for the Russian mission seems to have been moved up from the previously stated 2018 launch window for a possible mission, which raises questions about whether the Russian space agency can pull such an ambitious project off.

(More info: RIA Novosti)


- posted by Brian @ 14:08 EST