Chinese volunteer prepares for walk on Red Planet

22:25, February 15, 2011      

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A Chinese volunteer participating in a mock voyage to Mars plans to simulate his first steps on the Red Planet on Friday.

Wang Yue was preparing in his landing capsule for extravehicular activity on Feb. 18, Bai Yanqiang, vice director of the China Astronaut Research and Training Center (CARTC), told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Wang Yue, 27, an instructor at the CARTC, was selected last year as one of the six crew members for the Mars-500 international experiment in Moscow, which aims to test the human physical and psychological strains on a 500-day journey to Mars.

After 257 days of "flight" in locked capsules, two crew members, Russian physiologist Alexander Smoleevskiy and Italian engineer Diego Urbina, landed on a mock-up of Mars on Monday.

The two volunteers planted the flags of Russia, the European Space Agency (ESA) and China and took soil samples.

According to the CARTC, Wang Yue will be outfitted in a Russian-made space suit and operate a Mars exploration rover to collect rock samples.

The setting of the Mars-500 simulated landing is a meteor crater where U.S. Spirit Mars exploration rover actually landed in 2004.

Source: Xinhua
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