Mars MIssions Close to Home

One of the most ambitious projects that could take place in the 21st century is a manned mission to Mars. But how does someone go about preparing for a trip like that? With lots of practice.

One example is the MARS-500 experiment, a joint mission between Russia, China, and the European Space Agency that ended in 2011. Six volunteers were locked in isolation for 520 days to simulate a complete round-trip mission to Mars and to study the pyschological effects of such a trip. They “landed” and returned safely.

Also, here are some pictures from other practice missions by the Mars Society (in the desert in Utah) and the Austrian Space Forum (in the northen Sahara).

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