ESA: Simulated Mars mission Mars500 ‘returns’ to Earth after 17 months (Video)

By on Nov 5, 2011 in Astronomy, Europe, Science Comments

The simulated Mars mission, Mars500 ‘returned’ to Earth on Friday, November 04, 2011, after 17 months (520 days) of the full-length, high-fidelity simulation ‘trip to Mars‘ by humans, as shown in the video below.

Simulated Mars mission Mars500 members
Image Credit:

As noted by European Space Agency (ESA) on its official website, the six international volunteers started their ‘Mars mission‘ on June 3, 2010 at the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow.

According to ESA, the six ‘marsonauts‘ were composed of three Russians (Commander Alexey Sitev, Alexandr Smoleevskiy and Sukhrob Kamolov), two Europeans (Romain Charles and Diego Urbina), and Wang Yue, a Chinese national.

“Thank you very much for your outstanding effort,” said ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain was quoted in the report, greeting from Paris when the crew stepped from their module.

“I welcome the courage, determination and generosity of these young people who have devoted almost two years of their lives to this project, for the progress of human space exploration.” Dordain added.

During their stay in the interplanetary spacecraft mock-up, they performed more than 100 experiments related to the problems of long-duration missions in deep space and were noted to be successful.

As an additional experiment, their communications with mission control were artificially delayed to mimic the natural delays over the great distances on a real Mars flight.

The ESA noted that the study is to help determine the key psychological and physiological effects of being in such an enclosed environment for such an extended period of time.

Simulated Mars mission Mars500 ‘back’ to Earth after 520 days
Video Credit: ESA/YouTube

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