European Space Agency seeks volunteers for Mars simulation

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The European Space Agency (ESA) is seeking volunteers who would be ready to take a part on three simulated missions to Mars.

The anticipated missions will be a joint effort from ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency. Each crew will consist of six persons - two Europeans and four Russians. The ESA is looking for 2 crewmembers and two backups that must come from ESA member nations that participate in the ELIPS program.

The flight simulation should last between 105 to 520 days in a closed modules set of total space of 500 . The goal of the mission is to test the psychological stress of the long-distance travel. To make the experience as realistic as possible, the contact with the external world shall exist only via the radio with a time-delay of 40 minutes (simulating the time required for signals to travel between the Earth and Mars).

The first test of 105 days should start in middle of 2008 and the last one should start at the end 2008 or the beginning of 2009.

Interested persons can apply via an application form published on the ESA website.