Factbox: Mars and its missions

Fri Nov 4, 2011 8:46am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Here are some facts about Mars and missions to the Red Planet as Russia opened the hatch on an isolation study on Friday:

* THE EXPERIMENT:

-- The isolation experiment simulated a 520-day mission to Mars. Six volunteers were locked away in windowless cells since June 2010. The $15-million Mars500 experiment is the first full-duration simulation of a manned flight to Mars.

DURING THE MISSION:

* The crew was hermetically isolated.

* After 250 days the crew was divided in half, three sent to a Martian surface simulator and three kept in the 'spacecraft'.

* Crew lived and worked like astronauts on International Space Station.

* Crew worked a seven-day week with two days off, except when special and emergency situations were simulated.

* Crew were monitored and their psychological, medical and physical signs recorded.   Continued...