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Volunteers Wanted For Simulated 520-Day Mars Trip

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the represent-slashdot-there dept.

Mars 356

anglico writes 'Starting in 2010, an international crew of six will simulate a 520-day round-trip to Mars, including a 30-day stay on the martian surface. In reality, they will live and work in a sealed facility in Moscow, Russia, to investigate the psychological and medical aspects of a long-duration space mission. ESA is looking for European volunteers to take part.'

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356 comments

In Soviet Russia... (5, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826209)

Mars goes to you!

Okay, now that's out of the way, only intelligent discussion from here on out. Come on Slashdot, I know you can do it.

Make a porno (5, Funny)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826303)

I say they should make a porno, actually. Who doesn't want to do what sex on other planets will be like?

Granted, many of us here on /. don't even know what sex on this planet is like... :)

Re:Make a porno (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826747)

Of course we know what sex is like.

It involves a high-speed internet connection and a hand, right?

Re:Make a porno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826963)

Sell video feeds to an all-lesbian crew:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCVsT7kgwdw [youtube.com] (NSFW)

The whole thing will not only pay for itself, it will generate profits.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826489)

only intelligent discussion from here on out.

Yeah, like that's going to happen...

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826761)

Hey, he only said intelligent... he didn't say serious or topical. We can get on with the smart and poignant wit now. w00t!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (3, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826991)

It needs an element of reality, such as a vacuum chamber around the compartments/rooms these pseudo-astro/cosmo/euronauts will use, and if a leak is detected, the area along with the -nauts all get blown up...

Re:In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826709)

In Soviet Russia, dick sucks YOU!

Europeans only? (5, Funny)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827043)

ESA is looking for European volunteers to take part.

WTF!?

If I were going on a trip to Mars, the last thing I'd take along would be some techno-listening Eurotrash with unreasonable demands for prompt health care and a propensity for labor unrest. Hell, with their thin figures and tight jeans, some Eurotrashtronaut might get sucked out of the spacecraft through some any ol' tiny tear in the outer wall.

Don't they need any good old corn-fed Midwestern American boys on this mission? Sign me up.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29827077)

Is there any way we can combine this into an interdisciplinary role with the marijuane reviewer job?

http://idle.slashdot.org/story/09/10/21/1535217/Colorado-Newspaper-Looking-for-Marijuana-Reviewer

I mean WOW

"Hey what did you do this year?"
"Oh systems analysis, architecture, etc. How about you?"
"I WAS STONED ON MARS"

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826215)

Mars comes to you!

(also, first post)

Re:In Soviet Russia... (2, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826443)

so close
yet so very far.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826613)

true on too many levels.

By the way, shouldn't that quote be attributed to 1?

This is not new (5, Insightful)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826219)

See: Biodome. The failed movie or the failed experiment.

Re:This is not new (3, Funny)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826701)

See: Biodome. The failed movie or the failed experiment.

Biodome was a different kind of experiment. There, they were trying to create a self-sustaining Martian colony. The Russians are conducting a much simpler experiment...stick a bunch of people into a metal tube for year and a half and see if they go looney or not. From the article, it doesn't mention if the mission has to live on the same water or not, or a slowly dwindling food supply. But, that is probably secondary to the just-as-dangerous mental effects isolation being targeted for study.

Re:This is not new (1)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826855)

Have they not seen the last 15 years of MTV? The Real World will tell them all they need to know about putting a group of strangers together in a tight space for an extended time.

Re:This is not new (1)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827073)

except that it won't be vapid, over-privileged 20-somethings that are fed with alcohol to increase the likelihood of fights and random sex.

ahem. not that i have watched the show, or something.

Re:This is not new (1, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826867)

The Russians are conducting a much simpler experiment...stick a bunch of people into a metal tube for year and a half and see if they go looney or not.

All they have to do is check last century's Gulag records.
       

Re:This is not new (5, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827033)

An experiment is only a failure if you don't learn anything from it.

520 people, that's a big ship (0)

syntap (242090) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826221)

And a lot of beer, card games, and magazines to pass the time.

Re:520 people, that's a big ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826345)

Yeah, looks like you have had too much beer already. You're out.

Re:520 people, that's a big ship (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826417)

Yup. You read that right. 520 people for a 6 day party.

Re:520 people, that's a big ship (5, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826699)

Obviously you're reading this from the perspective of a project manager.

"If it takes 520 days for 6 people to get to Mars, we'll get 520 people and make it in 6 days!"

Re:520 people, that's a big ship (1)

FrameRotBlues (1082971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826819)

You know, if they sent 520 people, at least there'd be some_thing_ to do... because there'd be some_one_ to do...

Lame joke, I know, but on a serious note I bet the more people they add to the experiment, the less likely everyone is to go batshit insane.

Re:520 people, that's a big ship (1)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826901)

The group of 6 people better include more then one female, otherwise they will have at least one if not 3+ dead when they come back. If it's a group of 6 men, odds are still someone will not make it out alive.

ATTENTION (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826223)

To whom it may concern,

Linux is for fags.

Sincerely yours,
Not a fag

Re:ATTENTION (1)

josteos (455905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826275)

I vote for YOU!

Your out-of-this-world post suggests you are overqualified for the experiment.

Re:ATTENTION (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826373)

I am a fag who uses OSX. Therefore your theory is false.

why 520 days?! (1)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826243)

They doesn't know about the new Canadian engine?

Re:why 520 days?! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826559)

Forget Canadian engines. I just want to know if there will be any Canadian women in the simulation.

Re:why 520 days?! (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826587)

Wouldn't that suck? Spending 8 months in transit to Mars only to find a crowd waiting for you once you land: "yeah, we actually invented this really cool new engine like the week after you guys took off."

Re:why 520 days?! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826785)

I don't know where you live, but here months have much less than 65 days.

Re:why 520 days?! (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826865)

520 days - 30 days for the simulated stay on the surface = 490 days round trip or slightly more that 16 months BOTH ways. Since oldspewey seems to be talking only about the outbound leg 8 months is about right. You are right though a month does in fact have less than 65 days.

Re:why 520 days?! (1)

KlaasVaak (1613053) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826961)

Fewer!

Re:why 520 days?! (0, Flamebait)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826993)

The headline title just said "520 day", I went with that.

Re:why 520 days?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29827023)

Same here. But 8 months there, one month on the surface, and 8 months return trip is about... oh 520 days?

Re:why 520 days?! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827051)

The headline says "simulated 520 day Mars trip", not "1040 days".

Re:why 520 days?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29827097)

I don't know where you live, but here a 520 day isolation period representing a round trip with a one-month layover works out to approximately 8 months in either direction, assuming the time will be equal.

Re:why 520 days?! (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826697)

That is part of the experiment:

"Today we measure the effects on the crew as they watch a ship zoom by, launched after their ship and reaching Mars many months before they do".

Re:why 520 days?! (1)

aicrules (819392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826749)

Just because an engine CAN make the trip 39 (or is it 89) days, doesn't mean it will take that short a time. Given all the different things that they would likely have to account for, 245 days to get from Earth to Mars ain't that bad. And if the engines can get you there faster? Great! Then you're actually doing a simulated trip to somewhere many times farther away! Deep space exploration may eventually require people to spend years in space. Nothing wrong with building in tolerance levels far beyond what is actually necessary.

I nominate... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826247)

Hey here's someone [slashdot.org] we'd all like to send to Mars.

Let them play WOW (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826283)

I figure it this way. They need to pass a lot of downtime. Let them play a MMORPG. Then if your really creative you can let them farm gold and pay for the trip by selling the gold and characters they create.

Well I am kind of serious about the first part. Its going to take something highly addictive to keep them occupied during the trip there and back. Certain types of games would do it just fine. If you could find a way of combining learning into them all the better, but in some ways mindless entertainment may be key.

Re:Let them play WOW (1)

WoRLoKKeD (1142351) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826379)

What's the current world record for the longest game of Monopoly?

If all goes to plan, they will combine Monopoly and, if it turns out like every other Monopoly game in the history of the human race, Battle Royale.

Re:Let them play WOW (5, Funny)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826729)

What's the current world record for the longest game of Monopoly?

Microsoft? no wait... US Steal??? damnit.. I'm no good at pop quiz's...

Re:Let them play WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29827057)

LOL

ARGH! No mod points, damn it.

AC always makes the best mods

"The Saturn Game" [Re:Let them play WOW] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826439)

I figure it this way. They need to pass a lot of downtime. Let them play a MMORPG...

... Its going to take something highly addictive to keep them occupied during the trip there and back. Certain types of games would do it just fine. If you could find a way of combining learning into them all the better, but in some ways mindless entertainment may be key.

"The Saturn Game," by Poul Anderson.

Re:Let them play WOW (5, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826447)

The lag is going to be murder once they get a good distance to Mars.

It should be noted that NASA has long had a problem with the reality of space flight vs. their selection process. Their astronaut selection process tends to weed out all but the most motivated adventurous go-getters who tend to go crazy when asked to do basically nothing for 6 months.

Re:Let them play WOW (2, Interesting)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826757)

Their astronaut selection process tends to weed out all but the most motivated adventurous go-getters who tend to go crazy when asked to do basically nothing for 6 months.

Amen! As I understand it the first astronauts were test pilots, familiar with confined cockpits, long periods of total boredom, and incredible risk of a human roasting giant fireball. Why they ever went away from those men with way too much bravado, I'll never know.

Re:Let them play WOW (4, Funny)

S77IM (1371931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826827)

"We're going to lock you in this metal box, blast it into outer space on a giant pile of explosives, and then you'll drink your own urine for 6 months and crash-land in the ocean."

I think that kind of requires an adventurous go-getter attitude.

  -- 77IM

Re:Let them play WOW (5, Funny)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826939)

"We're going to lock you in this metal box [...] for 6 months [...]"

I think that kind of requires an adventurous go-getter attitude.

This is Slashdot. If sitting on my ass for 6 months is an adventure, then I'm Buzz Lightyear.

Re:Let them play WOW (2, Funny)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827059)

I am interested in your experiment and wish to partake in it, where do I send the check?

Re:Let them play WOW (5, Insightful)

icebrain (944107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826519)

It's kinda hard to play real-time interactive games when you're dealing with round-trip signal times of up to 40 minutes... I think that would knock out MMO games. Now something like split-screen Halo, on the other hand, doesn't require that, but is more likely to forment anger amongst the crew.

On the gripping hand, the old naval solution would probably work best. That is, keep the crew occupied with enough busywork that they don't have time to piss each other off. This was the standard practice on old sailing men of war; you needed large crews for combat/damage repair and for certain shipkeeping tasks, but otherwise they sat around with little to do. Hence, rituals of inspection, holystoning the deck, etc. This is also why modern crew-reduction initiatives on ships can backfire; smaller crews have a harder time performing damage control than larger ones.

Anyways, for a Mars mission you need a lot of crew for the surface exploration in order to get as much data as possible; the cruise phases (for the most part) have little for them to do. They'd likely be occoupied running different experiments and performing regular maintenance, and exercising (a lot) rather than just being couch kudzu.

Re:Let them play WOW (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826555)

They couldn't play normal WoW, because of the lag.

I am assuming that this 'trip' will correctly simulate speed-of-light delay, right? And bandwidth issues?

From what I can tell, they're not simulating the technical aspects of the trip, just 'locked up for 17 months', just the social ones, but hopefully they're doing that. (And even stuff like 'Okay, today we made it to Mars, so you're going to have to run around like madmen for a few hours pushing whatever button we light up to simulate the stress and work of landing')

They could, however, have computer lan with servers specifically set up for gaming. And both multiplayer and single player games. Oh, and give them a mirror of wikipedia.

From what I understand, sending from spacecraft is a power issue, and attempting to build low power transmitters is why we always have problems in that regard. But sending to them isn't an issue at all, especially if we're willing to only contact them 15% of the time, we can put a big honking transmitter on ISS or something. So we could even send them new games and stuff.

Re:Let them play WOW (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826581)

A lot of the social issues are well studied already, or at least should be. For example, submarine service in the various navies of the world.

Re:Let them play WOW (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826847)

A lot of the social issues are well studied already, or at least should be. For example, submarine service in the various navies of the world.

Speaking from experience as a submariner, I must disagree.

Among other differences are the rather large size of the boat's crew (comparatively speaking) and the mission duration.

For a submarine, four months is a long voyage.

And there aren't enough ways to divvy up six guys so that you can rearrange things so that two guys getting on each other's nerves can be kept apart.

Re:Let them play WOW (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826561)

Mindlessly addictive games seem like exactly the wrong approach to pass the time. You might as well just put them in a light coma instead. On the other hand, I would pay for 520-day sabbatical from the world during which I could write and illustrate a graphic novel, or some other creative pursuit that's otherwise frustrated by the distractions of Life On Earth. Also give me some ebooks to read, and maybe a limited quantity of mindless passive entertainment for seasoning, and I'd be happy.

Re:Let them play WOW (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826763)

Also give me some ebooks to read

Ebooks would be the only choice on such trip. During 520 days I could read more paper books than I weigh.

Re:Let them play WOW (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826791)

For the real trip to Mars, any direct connection to the Internet will (obviously) be futile, but I think that they would do well to give each astronaut a souped up PC with several TB of hard drive space, full to the brim with games, movies, music, e-books, and whatever else they might want. They could even set up a LAN and wallop on each other in Starcraft 2 or something. Or maybe include another computer as a dedicated server for MW2. The possibilities are endless!

Re:Let them play WOW (1)

L33TRice (1246258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826919)

Forget MMO's, let them play Dungeons and Dragons. Hell, I know some people who would PAY to do nothing but sit around and play DnD for that long. And that doesn't take anything but some pens, paper and a few gigs of pirated DnD rulebook PDFs and you're set for both the trip there and back (Oh, and some mountain dew and nachos).

Relativity (3, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826979)

An astronaut playing WoW during a 520 days trip to Mars while moving near the speed of light could barely get his character to level 40, while in the same time-span on earth his identical twin will easily have maxed the gear of 3 different characters.

(of course, one might argue that the astronaut simply is a n00b)

Reality Show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826327)

They should make it a reality show, and each week vote for a member to have a one-way trip.

I hear Pauly Shore's available (1)

ravnous (301936) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826343)

I hear Pauly Shore's available

Re:I hear Pauly Shore's available (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826509)

For a one-way mission?

They'll be stuck (1)

Wolvenhaven (1521217) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826365)

They'll be stuck inside because they will end up poisoning the atmosphere and they won't be let out until they clean up.

And wouldn't it be great if... (1)

shock1970 (1216162) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826367)

They turned it into a reality TV show with all sorts of hidden cameras and microphones placed everywhere.

And while it's great that they've asked for Europeans volunteers, there would be a lot more drama if you threw one or two American 20-somethings into the mix.

-- So where do I sign up?

Re:And wouldn't it be great if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826917)

Had they only advertised it as an actual mars mission and picked all the dumbest applicants, they could have made it into a Truman Show (or Spaceman Show if you like).

Imagine their faces after 520 days of deceit, thinking they actually went to mars...

Re:And wouldn't it be great if... (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827037)

Do you mean like Space Cadets [wikipedia.org] ?

Day 4 (4, Funny)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826435)

Mars needs women!

Re:Day 4 (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827047)

Day 5...

Woman pregnant.

Do transplants still count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826455)

Wow - the opportunity to have an expenses-paid 520-day "trip" where I don't have to come in to my office and deal with the associated cow-orkers? I was born in Europe...is that enough for this transplant to qualify? SIGN ME UP!!!

Please...there's not one small sign of intelligent life down here. Have Kindle, will travel...

It will start with only 6 people... (1)

Covalent (1001277) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826465)

...but unless sterilization is part of the experiment, there will be far more than 6 in 520 days!

Re:It will start with only 6 people... (5, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826567)

Lesbian crews. More specifically, HOT lesbian crews.

Video cameras everywhere, the trip would pay for itself.

Re:It will start with only 6 people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826579)

And this is why gay people should be welcomed into the space program with open arms...

Totally.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826469)

And here I was, thinking of Total Recall.

Realistic (1)

Haxzaw (1502841) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826475)

Unless it is realistic with a real chance of death should an air leak occur, or a system fails, such as Apollo 13, it will be almost meaningless. Of course, if the participants think there is a chance of death, even if a rescue is allowed that they don't know about, it might be OK and not taint the results.

Re:Realistic (1)

th1nk (575552) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826673)

Unless it is realistic with a real chance of death should an air leak occur, or a system fails, such as Apollo 13, it will be almost meaningless. Of course, if the participants think there is a chance of death, even if a rescue is allowed that they don't know about, it might be OK and not taint the results.

Not only that, but they also know that they are not really going to mars. I would think the psychological effects would be much harder to endure if you knew that you were just stuck in a bunker on earth and could feasibly go back to your normal life at any point.

I wonder... (1)

TimeElf1 (781120) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826495)

ESA is looking for European volunteers to take part.

I wonder if any European people will use this to try to get out of child support payments.

just make sure they stock up on birth control (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826529)

so there aren't any extra unplanned astronauts to arrive on "mars"

combined volunteers from two projects (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826543)

OK, combine this project and the marijuana testing project mentioned earlier today in idle.slashdot.org and I think you'll have some good candidates

Volunteers (3, Interesting)

hardihoot (1044510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826573)

Okay, this might sound a little naive, but why can't they use people who have long prison sentences but are not severely criminal? The data gained concerning space travel could allow these people to contribute to society when otherwise they would just be rotting in a cell.

Re:Volunteers (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826801)

Okay, this might sound a little naive, but why can't they use people who have long prison sentences but are not severely criminal? The data gained concerning space travel could allow these people to contribute to society when otherwise they would just be rotting in a cell.

Two things. First, what information would these prisoners provide? I'm reminded of a novel I read where secret US agencies engaged in medical experiments to develop yet another supersoldier. They were excited at getting a real doctor as a test subject. The reason was because they got someone who could contribute and understand what was going on with his own body rather than "It hurts, Doc."

Second, prisoners aren't the people that would be sent to Mars for a real mission. One of the things that will be tested here is the selection process for putting together a team that can work together for 18 months. And to be blunt, I don't understand the psychology of people who view this as equivalent to a prison sentence. Not everyone needs extensive social contact. There are plenty of examples of small groups making do in an isolated environment for years at a time.

Re:Volunteers (1)

hardihoot (1044510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827021)

Not everyone needs extensive social contact

I was thinking of just myself. I couldn't do it.

putting together a team that can work together for 18 months

I guess that pretty much eliminates most of the incarcerated population. They aren't known for teamwork in a positive, productive direction.

It was wishful thinking on my part to accelerate human space exploration via a population with little to offer society, such as those with a life sentence or on death row.

Who would _volunteer_ for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826635)

While participating in such an experiment is quite neat in itself, isn't a year and a half of time a rather large sabbatical?

Hmm, poor timing? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826641)

Upon exiting the simulated spacecraft:

"Hi! Thanks for wasting 18 months of your life sitting with five people with bad body odour playing Canasta until your eyes bled.

Btw, we decided to use VASIMR and we'll get there in 40 days!

Cheers, and thanks for the help. Btw, your dad died."

Crew selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826645)

Of course, only half the slots are available. Pauly Shore, Stephen Baldwin and Kylie Minogue have already been selected based on previous experience.

One can only hope (5, Funny)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826687)

that one of the volunteers spends each of those 520 days asking, "Are we there yet?!" over and over...

Submarine crews (1)

digitac (24581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826689)

I've always thought submarine crews would be better suited to space travel than Air Force test pilots. They need people who can deal with being in small, confined, pressurized vessels for long stretches of time without being able to go outside. And they wouldn't insist on having a window and control stick!

Re:Submarine crews (2, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826907)

That's a good point.

Of course I have to wonder about the validity of the psychological effects. In a simulation you _know_ when it is over, "Earth" is just an "exit door" away. On Mars, you are putting your life on the line and don't have your support system (friends, family) "next door" so to speak.

Biosphere 2 (0, Redundant)

slippr (1029568) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826735)

See also Biosphere 2 [wikipedia.org] .

No problem (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826759)

Here [marssociety.org] there are plenty of volunteers. They are practicing Mars exploration since many years with impressive results. As you can read perusing their EVA [wikipedia.org] reports, they discovered plenty of important thinghs, like the importance of rifles for keeping away polar bears, how to study ionospheric radio propagation, and so on. Quick! Apply here [marssociety.org] now!

520 days without a date? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826787)

Yeah, like that is a challenge...

I volunteer one group of idle people... (2, Insightful)

Spencerian (465343) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826789)

The United States Congress.

We won't miss them, really. How many more new laws do we need? Seriously.

Re:I volunteer one group of idle people... (1)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826973)

There is a major scientific problem with using members of Congress. Since most of them have their heads inserted into a certain orifice, their bodies have adapted to a methane-rich environment. This would introduce a bias into the results. Of course, it does suggest a new methane-powered propulsion system ...

Back in to the USSR joke (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29826937)

There was a joke in the former soviet bloc satellite states:

What are the prizes for "Who knows more about the USSR" competition?

1st prize: 1 week in USSR
2nd prize: 1 month in USSR
3rd prize: 1 year in USSR

Guess who won? The CIA!

Communications lag (2, Interesting)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 4 years ago | (#29826949)

I wonder if the monitoring the psychological effects of the experiment would include adding an increasing the amount of lag between when the isolated crew send a message to Mission Control, and when they get a response back. After all, instant response would make the crew feel like mission control were just a phone call away. Also, wouldn't the atmosphere of the environment be different, because you would always know you could be brought out if something went wrong. To run a real simulation, wouldn't the crew need to really think they were millions of miles away with no chance of rescue?

Did Columbus run simulations before departing ? (1)

Syniurge (1550185) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827003)

Answer is no.

And the psychological and medical aspects of 520-days period are bullshit, Slashdot readers have sat on a chair longer than that and they're fine.

Quit the safety mumbo-jumbo, send them first, ask questions later.

One question: (1)

Psicopatico (1005433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827005)

How much one would be payed?

I believe "volunteer" does not imply "free" (gratis).

Been There, done that. (4, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827011)

People act like sticking these people in an isolated chamber for a few hundred days is a new problem, it isn't. Sailors have been doing it for centuries.

If you want to study the effects further, give these people all a free 600 day cruise around the open sea. They're going to get horny, they're going to get angry, and they're going to get bored. That is what will happen.

Put a server on board with some quake and a few other video games. Give them all a bunch of contraceptives.

It will be fine. Trust me.

Irrelevant (4, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29827081)

Wouldn't the psychological effects of knowing that you're taking part in a (mostly meaningless) test negate any actual behavioral data collected?

If I was given the opportunity to walk on Mars, I'd consent to outright torture for 6 months.

If I was placed in isolation, and told that at the end, I'd have gobs of paperwork and medical exams to complete, my psychological perspective would be rather different. I'd get very bored very quickly.

On the flipside, if I became severely ill in space, I'd (rightfully) panic, while I'd be more comfortable in an isolated trial, knowing that the full facilities of Moscow's health system were at my disposal, a few blocks away.

Also don't forget the physiological effects of zero-gravity and increased radiation in space that you wouldn't experience on earth.

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