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

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs