Mike Barajas — The International space station may provide the setting for a 500-day pretend trip to Mars. Nasa is considering using the space station as a dry run for a simulated trip to and from Mars.
Nasa says the pretend mission would be patterned after Russia’s mock flight to Mars that lasted 520 days at a Moscow research center. Six men were locked in a steel capsule for that study.
NASA’s space station program manager says before astronauts can fly beyond low-Earth orbit they will have to spend more than six months aloft at a time. That’s the typical stint for space station crews.
But No NASA astronaut has spent more than seven months in space on a single mission.
It will take some time to pull off this make believe mission. Nasa says don’t expect any such Mars simulation aboard the space station to occur any sooner than two to three years. The space agency says physical as well as psychological questions will have to be addressed before anything of that sort is attempted.
Still steps are already are under way for such an effort and scientists and flight surgeons already are working on it.