An international crew of six volunteers - two from Europe, one from China and three from Russia, will take their first mock "Mars-walk" today (Feb. 14.) kicking their unprecedented 500 - day simulation of a mission to the Red Planet into a whole new gear.
For the simulated landing, three members went through the motions of undocking a lander from their spaceship, plunging through Martian atmosphere and touching down on the planet's surface - and all that without leaving Earth.
They do this simulation - mission to Mars, from beginning to end, to better understand physical and psychological challenges "Marsonauts" will face on real deep space journeys. Mission started eight months ago, on June 3.
An exterior view of isolation facility at the Russian Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow, Russia. The facility is host to the Mars500 study that will help us to understand the psychological and medical aspects of long spaceflights. A 105-day Mars simulation was held between March and July 2009, a longer 520-day study began in 2010.