Staying Put on Earth, Taking a Step to Mars

Crew in Moscow to Simulate Part of a Flight to Mars

This is pretty cool. A group of 6 are shutting themselves up in a chamber for 105 days to test “the limits of human tolerance for the isolation and monotony of interplanetary travel.” This is a lead-up to a 500 day project that’s supposed to start early next year. Both projects are supposed to be preparation for a manned mission to Mars. The story talks about how the people are going to test for compatibility (in case the eventual crew is multinational) and how they’re going to try to cultivate food.

Joe and I started watching When We Left Earth this weekend, and I’ve already learned a lot about the astronaut training process. It’s amazing… the documentary is doing a great job of communicating what was at stake and how extraordinary these men were. They, their training methods, and what they did were truly revolutionary and unprecedented. I think that our society takes the space program for granted—we don’t realize what a big deal it actually is to send someone up into space, and we focus on the failures more than the successes. Also, Joe and I spent a lot of time at the Air & Space Museum when we were in D.C., so I’ve got space on the brain. So this Mars project is really exciting to me… I would love to see a manned mission to Mars in my lifetime. I wish people were more excited and appreciative about the space program… and science in general.

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