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Poland Stands in for Red Planet

Six volunteers are preparing for a simulated Mars mission later this month.

10 July 2017

One faux astronaut each from France, India, Israel, Nigeria, Spain, and the United States will take part in the low-budget experiment. They will live and work in a mockup of a Mars station with a central dome partly designed by Freedomes, the company that constructed the station featured in the blockbuster movie The Martian, Business Insider reports.

 

The dome will be linked to four wings for personal quarters, storage, and labs.

 

This latest in a series of “Mars analogue missions” manned by university students and corporate volunteers will be “one of the most international, multicultural, and interdisciplinary analogue missions ever conducted, with members from over 28 different countries and representing scientific disciplines ranging from engineering to astrophysics, psychology, geology, and biology,” mission spokesperson Mina Takla said in a YouTube video.

 

 

To simulate life on Mars, the astronauts will collect samples using rovers, and make vitamins and proteins in bioreactors print tools on a 3D printer.

 

Led by the Space Exploration Project Group, whose parent organization has participated in UN-sponsored space research, the mission will take place near the Queen Jadwiga observatory in southeastern Poland from 30 July to 13 August.

 

Other partners such as the Mars Society, the European Space Agency and the European Space Foundation are supporting the project. The project raised tens of thousands of dollars through crowdfunding in addition to material and financial help from corporate sponsors, Business Insider says.

 

 

  • An all-Polish crew manned a simulated Mars mission last spring at the Mars Society’s Utah testing site.

 

  • An ambitious project in Moscow four years ago put six male volunteers into a mockup spaceship for a 17-month mission to Mars. The study raised concerns for long-term space missions because the volunteers experienced low motivation and activity levels and sleep difficulties, the Guardian reported.

 

  • Last month tech billionaire Elon Musk published his vision of a "self-sustaining city" on Mars. In order for that to happen, space travel will have to become orders of magnitude cheaper than now, Fortune reported him as saying.

Compiled by Crystal Tai

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