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Simulated Mars Mission Approaches “Mars”

The Mars-500 Project, a simulated mission to Mars being run by the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems and funded by the European Space Agency, is nearly ready to approach Mars! Well, not the actual planet, but “Mars”! Yay! So are they ready to kill each other yet? Actually, at about the half-way point, they seem to be managing pretty well. For being in close quarters while on a fake mission to Mars.

Unlike another Mars mission previously covered on this blog, the Mars-500 Project seem to be handling all of its scheduled mishaps and living in close quarters pretty well and free of drama. Or, at least, as much as can be expected. According to their most recent update, posted January 14, their 226th day “in space,” they report:

Scientific equipment is in operable condition. Clarification for implementation of special experiments is carried out. There are no alterations of health state which can interfere with participating in the experiment and realizing of scientific program.

Short, sweet, no frills, no crawling up the walls, begging to be free of their fellow travelers. They are scheduled to reach “Mars’ orbit” on February 1.

Advances in space exploration are exciting. And Mars is clearly this generation’s “space race.” But how long is that race going to be stuck on Earth before we actually start racing? We got to the Moon because we were scared of Russia. Is al-Qaeda going to have to announce they’re going to Mars?

(via Discover.)

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