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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

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 Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid