News / Science & Technology

    Crewmembers Say Mars 500 Experiment Went Well

    Participants of the Mars500 experiment, which simulated a 520-day flight to Mars, pose for a picture during a news conference in Moscow, November 8, 2011
    Participants of the Mars500 experiment, which simulated a 520-day flight to Mars, pose for a picture during a news conference in Moscow, November 8, 2011

    Six men who spent a year-and-a-half in a simulation project testing the psychological effects of a return voyage from Mars shared their experiences at a Moscow news conference Tuesday. The crewmembers of the simulated Mars spaceflight say it was a tough mission.

    Wearing blue jump suits stamped with the Mars 500 project logo, members of the international simulation crew described what it was like to live in a windowless capsule for 520 days with limited contact with the outside world.

    Russian crewmember Sukhrob Kamalov, a surgeon, says it was difficult at times to deal with so many different nationalities and cultures.

    He says we have an international crew and that everyone is from different nationalities and different countries. He says people have different characters, but in the end everyone managed to live together for 520 days in such a small space.

    "Small space" is right: 550 cubic meters to be exact. The simulation unit included medical, living, landing ... storage and Martian surface modules," Kamalov said.

    All of the modules, except for one, were used for living and working. The living space was decorated with wood paneling, furniture and rugs in an effort to make it look more like home.

    But many of the crew members say that while space officials tried to make the space as comfortable as possible, it was still a difficult experience.

    Crewmember Diego Urbina is an Italian-Columbian engineer. He says he found it especially hard to be separated from his friends and family for so long. But he says the lengthy mission also taught him about himself and the importance of cooperation:

    "It put me more in contact with my own humanity, so you see that you are not a superman, you have limitations and you have to overcome them by yourself and also with the help of your crew mates," said Urbina.

    And according to Chinese crew member Wang Yue, it’s that cooperation with his crew mates that got him through the ordeal.  He says he now considers the five men a part of his family.

    "It was really not easy and we did it as a team, we trust each other," Yue said.

    It's likely that members of this crew will be part of the next generation of astronauts for future Russian and European missions to Mars.

    Russian space officials say they hope to send a manned mission to Mars by 2040. But Russia's space program has been beset by difficulties lately, including the grounding of its Soyuz rocket fleet a few months ago after one failed to reach orbit. Those rockets are currently the only means to ferry passengers and cargo to the International Space Station.

    Undeterred, Russian space officials announced the launch of the nation's first unmanned deep-space probe in two decades - a three-year mission to bring a soil sample back from Phobos, one of the two Martian moons. Coming on the heels of its successful Mars mission simulation, Russia is clearly hoping to bring some glory back to its space program.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora