The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking for volunteers to spend 520 days in isolation to test the viability of a mission to Mars.
Twelve volunteers will spend the time in a capsule in Russia simulating a trip to the Red Planet.
They will eat only freeze dried food, and will be able to contact friends and family only by radio with a 40-minute time lag.
"In order to investigate the human factors of such a mission ESA has teamed up with the Russian Institute of Biomedical Problems and will send a joint crew of six on a 520-day simulated mission to Mars," said the ESA.
"The simulation follows the mission profile of a real Mars mission, including a exploration phase on the surface of Mars. Nutrition will be identical to that provided onboard the International Space Station."
Two 105-day 'missions' will be run before the full programme. The full test will include isolation for the 'trip' out and back, and include a 30-day simulation of life on the planet exploring and carrying out scientific experiments.
Participants will need to be under 50, have at least a working knowledge of English or Russian, be physically fit and of the right psychological temperament to manage the mission.
Application forms can be found at the Call for Mars500 Candidates website.
Mars mission simulation seeks volunteers
By Iain Thomson on Jun 25, 2007 10:21AM