Factbox: Mars and its missions
(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...