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18 May, 2010 12:43

“Marsonauts” chosen for pseudo-trip to Red Planet

Preparations for an 18-month simulated mission to Mars are entering their final stage, as organizers have confirmed all those who will take part in the endeavor.

Six people will enter a set of steel containers in Moscow on June 3 to test the physical and mental requirements of ultra-long duration spaceflight.Among the brave there will be three men from Russia, two from Europe, and one man from China.Aleksey Sitev, one of the spacemen, has just got married, but has chosen the simulated-trip over a honeymoon.“My wife is very proud of me. Of course she is worried, and I’ll be worried too. But I’m confident about our relationship – so, I think everything will be fine. No experiments of this kind have ever been carried out before. So, I’m not quite sure I’ll emerge as exactly the same man when the mission is over. Of course I’m slightly scared ahead of the mission,” he told RT.There are five chambers in the spaceship as well as living quarters and the research lab. There is also a simulated replica of the Martian surface.The experiment is divided into three parts: 240 days of virtual flight to Mars, 30 days of living on pseudo-Martian surface and 240 days of traveling back to Earth.Every participant of this mission has the right to leave the experiment at any time with no explanation. Each of them will get a cash bonus for the mission, as well as for taking part in the research.