`Simulated Mission to Mars About to Begin

MOSCOW, May 25 (UPI) — The European Space Agency says the first full-duration, 520-day simulation of a human mission to Mars is about to begin.

The ESA said the record-breaking experiment is to start June 3 at Russia’s Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow when the isolation facility is sealed. The six-member crew will live and work as astronauts do on the International Space Station, performing maintenance duties, scientific experiments and daily exercise. They will follow a seven-day week, with two days off, except when special and emergency situations are simulated, officials said.

The six crewmembers and Russian backup are Diego Urbina, Italian/Colombian, age 27; Romain Charles, French, 31; Wang Yue, 26, China; and Russians Sukhrob Kamolov, 32; Alexey Sitev, 38; Alexandr Smoleevskiy, 33; and Mikhail Sinelnikov, 37.

The simulation includes an interplanetary spaceship, a Mars lander and a martian landscape.

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