Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Calling All Space Pioneers

Let me preface this by saying Ryan you are not allowed to apply....because I know he would, because his dream is to be an astronaut.

One of the headlines on Yahoo today was "Space Pioneers Wanted for 520 day Mars Experiment."

The European Space Agency (ESA) on Tuesday called for applications for one of the most demanding human experiments in space history: a simulated trip to Mars in which six "astronauts" will spend 17 months in an isolation tank on Earth (Like Big Brother but LONGER)

They will face simulated emergencies, daily work routines and experiments, as well as boredom and, no doubt, personal friction from confinement in just 550 cubic metres (19,250 cubic feet), the equivalent of nine truck containers.

Communications with the simulated mission control and loved-ones will take up to 40 minutes, the time that a radio signal takes to cross the void between Earth and a spaceship on Mars. Food will comprise mainly the packaged stuff of the kind eaten aboard the International Space Station.

The goal is to gain experience about the psychological challenges that a crew will face on a trip to Mars.
Men and women who think they have the right stuff can download the application form on (http://www.spaceflight.esa.int/CallforCandidates). (I tried to download it but this computer won't let me so I will try later...not for Ryan but out of curiosity)

The terrestrial Mars-stronauts will not get much glory for their confinement, nor will they get particularly rich. They will get paid 120 euros (158 dollars) a day, said Marc Heppener of ESA's Science and Application Division. "The problem is that it is very difficult to find healthy people for this kind of experiment," he said.

Assuming that Mars and Earth are favourably aligned, with their closest distance of 56 million kilometres (35 million miles), it would take 250 days to get there, 30 days spent on site to conduct experiments and 240 days for the return, said Baranov.
This brings a whole new meaning to "Are we there yet?"

A trip to Mars is not an early prospect. The United States has set plans to return to the Moon by 2018 and later head to Mars, but without setting a date.

The trip is fraught with many technical challenges, many of which are outranked by the question of keeping the crew healthy and sane.

I know I've said it before, but I do not support space missions I just found this interesting. Besides, Ryan is always saying we know more about outerspace than the bottom of the ocean so maybe they should spend more time down there than trying to catch Marvin the Martian.

2 comments:

Mom I said...

I agree. Its such a waste of money that could be used to help out the earth we live on. I won't be applying either. Course, I wouldn't apply even if I did agree with their philosophy because I just don't have an adventerous spirit. I didn't know it was Rys dream to be an astronaut.

lauren and brad said...

who would do this????? that is so crazy.

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