Half a dozen astronauts live on a “fake version of Mars” in a remote facility in Israel’s Negev desert to help scientists understand how people can get along in unusual and cramped conditions
Six astronauts will live for the next four weeks on a “fake version of Mars” that is actually firmly planted on earth in Israel’s Negev desert.
Scientists hope that this tough mission will provide information on how humans cope under unusual and cramped conditions – similar to those on the red planet.
All equipment, crew and accommodation are located in Israel but are managed by Mission Control in Innsbruck, Austria.
In the simulation, five men and one woman will live in a “Mars analog facility” for four weeks, wearing spacesuits and even driving a high-tech space rover, reports Mail Online.
The Austrian Space Forum, which leads the mission, consists of aerospace engineers and space enthusiasts who want to develop the technologies needed to get people to Mars.
Not only will the crew see how humans deal with desert conditions, but they will also simulate a range of human-robot activities on the surface of Mars.
The analog missions help to understand the “advantages and limitations of future human planetary missions”, according to a statement by the Austrian Space Forum.
The isolation phase of the crew began today (October 12th) and they can only chat with the mission leadership until they are released on October 31st.
This is supposedly a behavioral mindfulness technique that will get the crew used to getting along in cramped and lonely environments.
Analog missions should reflect the real experiences of future Mars astronauts.
Because of this, the crew is sent out in spacesuits to get them used to the equipment they need to protect from the harsh environment of the Red Planet.
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Conditions on Mars include sub-zero temperatures, the lack of a breathable atmosphere, and plenty of solar radiation.
The crew will carry out over twenty experiments in the Martian suit prototypes of the Austrian Space Forum in the fields of biology, medicine, geology and engineering.
That includes driving futuristic rovers and other vehicles that may make it to Mars if people visit, which experts say could be sometime in the 2030s.