by Acad. Anatoly GRIGORYEV, RAS Vice-President, Research Supervisor, RAS Institute for Medico-Biological Problems (IMBP); Boris MORUKOV, Dr. Sc. (Med.), RF Pilot-Cosmonaut, IMBP Deputy Director for Research
The Institute for Medico-Biological Problems (Russian Academy of Sciences) is carrying out an experiment simulating a Mars mission. Taking part are six volunteers from Russia, France, Italy and China locked up within ground-based hermetic modules for as many as 520 days-about the same time needed for a voyage to the Red Planet and back. The door of the pressure modules shut to in June 2010 will be opened again only in November 2011.
Exploration of outer space is a unique proving ground for advanced technologies under extreme conditions and a good school of space navigation. Great space projects are a model lesson for society in goal-oriented extraterrestrial (ET) activities.
The beginning of this third millennium is keynoted by the heightened interest in interplanetary missions. We can see that in the lively discussions of scientists and engineers, and in the increasing number of interplanetary probes, including those launched toward Mars*, a planet of the utmost interest to space researchers. Even though this big planet is not closest to Earth, it is quite within reach and has some common physical and climatic parameters. For all the headway made in studying the Martian surface by unmanned automatic craft, the earth men would hardly give up the idea of a piloted mission which would enable man to expand his knowledge of that planet and its further exploration possibilities, and perhaps make possible its colonization someday. Furthermore, new data obtained in the course of a piloted mission like that would contribute to solution of certain basic biological and ecological problems related to the biosphere of the earth.
Interplanetary journeys with man on board are possible after all, as shown by yearlo ... Read more