Mars500 Crew Enters Orbit Around Red Planet

Mars500 crewmembers testing the Russian Orlan suits before their mission started in early June 2010. Credits: IBMP/ Oleg Voloshin

Mars500 ‘arrives’ in orbit around Mars ESA Press Release 2 February 2011

The first full-duration simulation of a manned voyage to Mars has reached a major milestone: the ‘spacecraft’ yesterday ‘arrived’ at Mars after 244 days of virtual interplanetary flight. Three crewmembers will ‘land’ on Mars on 12 February and make three sorties onto simulated martian terrain.

Mars500, a pioneering international study of the complex psychological and technical issues that must be tackled for long spaceflights, has been running for more than eight months in hermetically sealed modules imitating a Mars spacecraft at the Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow.

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