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Czech scientists to assess psyche of simulated flight to Mars team
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08:42, April 01, 2009

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Czech scientists from Tomas Bata University in Zlin, south Moravia, will assess the psychological condition of the team of a simulated flight to Mars within the international Mars 500 project, Jaroslav Sykora, International Academy of Astronautics member, said on Monday.

The first part of the experiment as part of the prepared flight to Mars will start in Moscow where a six-member team will close itself for 105 days in a 500 cubic meter space ship model placed in the Earth Experimental Complex (NEK) at the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research (IBMP).

The flight of a real space ship to Mars in the future will last almost two years, Sykora said. It will take 250 days after which the spaceship will be flying around Mars for about one month while part of the team will land on Mars's surface in a module.

A full circle panoramic view of Mars taken by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is shown in this undated handout photo released to Reuters July 31, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

It will take another 240 days before the astronauts return to the Earth. This is quite a long time to provoke unexpected stressful situations and the team should be prepared to face them and this is the goal of the experiment Czech scientists will work on, Sykora said.

All members of the team will be able to ask for the end of the experiment but this is only expected if their lives were threatened, Tomas Srb from the QED GROUP said.

After the first 105-day long part of the project is completed at the end of this year the second stage lasting 520 days will start. A team that will participate in it has not yet been chosen. It is expected to include a woman and maybe a Czech, Sykora said.

Mars 500 is a joint project of the IBMP and the European Space Agency (ESA), in which researchers from dozens of the member countries of the ESA, Russia, Canada and the United States are participating.


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