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Mars500 Mission Begins

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the I-think-I-saw-this-movie dept.

Mars 235

krou writes "The six participants in the Mars500 project have entered their sealed facility. The project, which lasts for 18 months, is designed to try and simulate a mission to Mars, completely isolated and cut off from the outside world, with a '20-minute, one-way time-delay in communications to mirror the real lag in sending messages over the vast distance between Mars and Earth.' They also have limited consumables, with everything required being loaded onboard from the start. You can follow developments via the blog, or the Twitter feed of Diego Urbina, one of the would-be cosmonauts."

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20 minute delay ... (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444064)

20 minute delay ... they won't be getting first post then

Re:20 minute delay ... (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444092)

Yes and knowing that you can get out whenever you want might also change how well you cope with being in there.

Re:20 minute delay ... (3, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444126)

Yes and knowing that you can get out whenever you want might also change how well you cope with being in there.

I suppose that could go either way. For some people being able to get out might make it like trying to give up smoking with a pack of cigarettes and a lighter in your pocket. For others it might be a reassurance.

Re:20 minute delay ... (2, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444190)

This, and also the fact that your entire mindset will be different when you know you are participating in the greatest voyage humankind has ever contemplated ... vs. just being part of some experiment where you are locked up for 500 days.

Re:20 minute delay ... (2, Interesting)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444542)

Eh, it goes both ways. These people know that there is a world outside those walls and a life past those 500 days. Whereas there is a great, expansive nothingness that extends forever all around their module during the real deal. Sure, it might be a glorious voyage, but with great peril as well... not to mention the fact that it might be a high probability of being a journey to certain death. Even the strongest minds might be impacted by the survival mechanism after a breaking point is reached during that long, cramped journey... I don't think that could be replicated.

Re:20 minute delay ... (2, Insightful)

egamma (572162) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444798)

high probability of being a journey to certain death.

I'm pretty sure that I'm almost positive that "high probability" and "certain death" should not be used in the same sentence.

Re:20 minute delay ... (0)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444992)

Its good that you are pretty sure and not positive because it depends on the context. A risk with a certain outcome does not mean that certain outcome is guaranteed. In my statement, I was implying that the mission has a high probability of being a one way trip, which most certainly would be a certain death. Which would be different than just saying it has a high probability of death. Cancer has a probability of death, but it is not certain. Russian roulette has a probability of certain death.

Re:20 minute delay ... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32445198)

I don't think that could be replicated.

Well, it could, but I doubt the lawyers would sign off on the concept.

Re:20 minute delay ... (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444708)

On the real mission, a significant fraction of that 500 days would be spent ON Mars. (how cool would that be!). Want to get away from the hab. and go for a walk, no problem. Just suit up and go. You would NOT be locked up in an enclosed environment like these folks are.

Re:20 minute delay ... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32444842)

So what you're saying is that on a real mission to Mars you get to break the monotony, but in Soviet Russia the monotony breaks you?

20 minute delay ... (4, Funny)

adeft (1805910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444128)

Ground control operator: "Hey uh.....Steve, while you're in space and all, mind if I go over to your house and sleep with your wife? I'll give you about 19 minutes to say no"

Re:20 minute delay ... (3, Funny)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444188)

> Ground control operator: "Hey uh.....Steve, while you're in space and all, mind if I go over to your house and sleep with your wife? I'll give you about 19 minutes to say no"

Steve: "Hey uh....Ground Control Operator, sure...go ahead. I killed the biatch just before take-off. I'll give you 8 months to come and get me"

Re:20 minute delay ... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444874)

Considering that they're going to be in there for 500 days, would you bother asking?

Re:20 minute delay ... (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444224)

> 20 minute delay ... they won't be getting first post then

On Mars they will. All a matter of perspective ;-)

Re:20 minute delay ... (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444314)

Hey! First post from the Mars500 Mission!

Re:20 minute delay ... (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444522)

"First"??? They'll be lucky to be able to get in a "IBTL" ;-)

Re:20 minute delay ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32444844)

Maybe they'll get to coin IBTD (third dupe). That should give them an average of, what, 27 minutes?

Re:20 minute delay ... (5, Insightful)

dj245 (732906) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444524)

Shouldn't the delay start at 0s and gradually increase to 20 minutes, then decrease back down to 0?

Re:20 minute delay ... (2, Insightful)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444856)

I think the idea is to simulate worst-case all the way. If 6 schmucks can make it 18 months of isolation and a 20 minute communication delay, then we are more likely to find any psychological effects.

Re:20 minute delay ... (2, Insightful)

mutube (981006) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444986)

I would have thought a gradual increase in isolation would be more demotivating than starting out at the worst case and staying stable? Every day things get a little harder...

Re:20 minute delay ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32445166)

True, but with creative use of human waste and an airlock, they can always get "frosty piss".

That sucks (1, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444066)

with a '20-minute, one-way time-delay in communications to mirror the real lag in sending messages over the vast distance between Mars and Earth

That's going to suck for WoW raids.

Re:That sucks (4, Funny)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444364)

They just need to open a realm on Mars.

It might be an empty world tho. I hope they won't ban bots or Rover will be pissed.

Re:That sucks (2, Funny)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444582)

Not so bad for Eve. Not only is it somewhat relevant to the subject matter, but by the time they get back, they would have skilled up!

Wait... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444068)

...so if the mission is supposed to be a "true" simulation, does that mean the cosmonauts would be using Twitter during the real voyage?

Re:Wait... (4, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444162)

If Twitter is still popular at that time yes.

Publicity is a necessary component of NASA missions.

Re:Wait... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444184)

Actually, I suppose that makes sense...hell, they've been using it on the ISS.

ATTENTION! DO NOT MOD DOWN! +5 INFORMATIVE (-1, Offtopic)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444070)

I submit David Hasselhoff is the AntiChrist

And I have the proof

How can one explain the phenomenal global success of one of this country's least talented individuals? There are only three ways.

        * Mr. Hasselhoff actually is talented, but this goes unnoticed in his own country.

        * Mr. Hasselhoff has sold his soul to Satan in return for global success.

        * David Hasselhoff is the AntiChrist.

            I vote for the latter -- and perhaps, after seeing the facts involved, the rest of the world will agree.

The Facts First, the obvious. Add a little beard and a couple of horns -- David Hasselhoff looks like the Devil, doesn't he? And the letters in his name can be rearranged to spell
fad of devil's hash.

What does this mean? Well, Baywatch is David's fad. David is the devil. The Hash is what makes Knight Rider popular in Amsterdam.

(I was actually hoping to make the letters in his name spell out he is of the devil, which would be possible if his middle name was "Ethesis," which it might be. I'm sure his publicist would hide such a middle name if it were true.)

Second -- and most importantly -- David Hasselhoff and his television series were foretold in the Bible. Biblical scholars worldwide may quibble over interpretations, but they all agree on this. For a few telling examples let's skip to the end of the Bible. If any book of the Bible will tell us who the AntiChrist is, it's the Revelation of Saint John, which basically describes the AntiChrist and the Armageddon He causes. I'll just give you the verse, and the current theological interpretation of that verse.

Who is the Beast?

Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns The Beast, of course, is David Hasselhoff. The Heads are His separate television incarnations. Young and the Restless, Revenge of the Cheerleaders, Knight Rider, Terror at London Bridge, Ring of the Musketeers, Baywatch and Baywatch Nights.
The ten horns represent His musical releases: Crazy For You, David, David Hasselhoff, Do You Love Me?, Du, Everybody Sunshine, I Believe, Looking For Freedom, Night Lover and Night Rockers.
Not only does Mitch The Lifeguard literally "rise out of the sea" on Baywatch, but David's musical career has mostly occurred in Europe, a metaphoric rise to fame from across the sea.
Rev 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. Of course, this is a reference to his third head: Knight of the Phoenix, the first episode of Knight Rider. In this episode, "Michael Long, a policeman, is shot and left for dead. The shot is deflected by a plate in his head, but ruins his face. He is saved and his face reconstructed. He is reluctant, but agrees to use K.I.T.T. to help the Foundation for Law and Government fight criminals who are 'beyond the reach of the law'. " Knight Rider has been shown in 82 countries.
Rev 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. The following blasphemies are actual quotes from David Hasselhoff -- I read these while he was 42 years old.

"I'm good-looking, and I make a lot of money."

"There are many dying children out there whose last wish is to meet me."

"I'm six foot four, an all-American guy, and handsome and talented as well!"

"Before long, I'll have my own channel -- I'll be like Barney."

"(Baywatch) is responsible for a lot of world peace." which the Hoff said at the Bollywood Oscars. Don't believe me? Read the original article!

And here's a blasphemy that came from David's recent (Feb 2004) visit to the Berlin Wall museum. I couldn't have made something this great up by myself. He was upset that the museum didn't spend more time devoted to his personal role in the fall of Communism. You can read more about it here, if you don't believe me.

The Second Beast: Television

Rev 13:11-13And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

        The Second Beast, with it's dual antennae, is obviously the Television -- merely a pawn in Hasselhoff's underworldly regime. His stereo speaker (the dragon's voice) spews forth the blasphemy of Baywatch until He has caused all people of the earth to worship and watch Baywatch and Baywatch Nights. How well has he done? Baywatch is now seen by about one billion viewers in 140 countries -- the most watched series ever.

You probably never knew this, but the entire historical purpose of television has been to attract a worldwide audience for the eventual syndication of Baywatch. And how does it accomplish this global distribution? Via satellite - from heaven to the Earth.

Rev 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. How does television work? By giving life unto Hasselhoff's image. I'm pretty sure the second part hasn't happened yet.

Lifeguards: Denizens of the Underworld

These biblical revelations will show that the lifeguards on Baywatch are foretold as servants of the Devil. (Need I say who that is again?)

Rev 20:11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them

Rev 20:13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them...

        Doesn't this sound like an exact description of what the lifeguards on Baywatch do? They sit on their big white wooden throne, and watch out over the sea -- waiting for a dying person to get cast up.
Rev 9:6 And in those days shall men seek to find death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

        One word: CPR

Rev 10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, Sounds like a lifeguard, eh? Standing on the beach reading a paperback?

Rev 17:3-5 ...and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

    and if that wasn't enough, try
Ezekiel 23:17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them.

        The fabled "Whore of Babylon." Well, people have been calling Hollywood "Babylon" since long before I was making web pages. And of all the women in Hollywood, whose wedding night video is the most popular? Hmmm.... Did someone say "Barb Wire?"

Rev 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more Do you know any merchants who invested heavily in the acting career of this "whore of Babylon?" I've seen that "VIP" show of hers, and I'd be weeping if I had spent money on the merchandising rights.

Rev. 18:21 ... a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea,...

        Speaking of lifeguards chucking rocks at innocent people, listen to this excerpt from a recent lawsuit against his Hasselness: "while Plaintiff was in the audience of the Rosie O'Donnell Show, Defendandt DAVID HASSELHOFF came on stage and threw a stack of cards depicting himself into the audience, striking Plaintiff in the eye. . . [he] should have known that throwing cards into an audience could cause injury to the audience."

Rev 18:14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. He stands to lose money in this lawsuit -- or maybe even all those dainty and goodly things he bought.

The Number of the Beast

The Bible shows us another way to prove a person is the AntiChrist, namely through numerology. Rev 13:18 says: "Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."

That's a bit cryptic, to be sure. One score is twenty, so threescore is 60, the number of the beast is 666.

Now, the way biblical scholars and numerologists usually convert the names of men into their numbers is through a simple numerical code. Let's assign the 26 letters of the alphabet the numbers 1 through 26. It looks like this:

a 1 i 9 q 17 y 25

b 2 j 10 r 18 z 26

c 3 k 11 s 19

d 4 l 12 t 20

e 5 m 13 u 21

f 6 n 14 v 22

g 7 o 15 w 23

h 8 p 16 x 24

Now, we take the letters from Mr. Hasselhoff's name, assign numbers to them, and calculate his number.

D A V I D H A S S E L H O F F

4 1 22 9 4 8 1 19 19 5 12 8 15 6 6

Now, since thirteen is such a fitting number for evil, let's multiply the first 13 numbers together. The total (65,874,124,800) is approximately 6.6 billion. Tack on the remaining 6's from the end of his name, and you've got yourself the mark of the beast.

Another tactic you could use would be to add the letters in "David" (I think you should get 40) and the letters in Hasselhoff (99) and then multiply them together. 40 x 99 = 3960. Now, 3960 is 660 x 6. And of course, 660 plus 6 is -- again -- the mark of the beast.

Not enough proof for you? Well, let's see what else the winning combination of the Bible and numerology have in store for David.....

As he explains it in his interview, David Hasselhoff first decided to act at the age of 7 when he saw a local production of Rumplestiltskin. His acting debut was in Peter Pan. Knight Rider ended its run in 1986, when Hasselhoff was 32. Baywatch debuted in 1989, when Hasselhoff was 35. His first televised role was as Snapper Foster on the Young and the Restless at the age of 19. If we look at the 37th chapter of the 19th book of the Bible (Psalms) -- at verses 32 and 35, we notice an interesting phenomenon. Take a look:

32. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

35. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

Viewers of Baywatch may have thought they were watching the good leader Mitch Buchannon -- whose main job as head lifeguard is to watch over the righteous babes at the beach, and save them. According to the Bible, he is really trying to slay them. But can we be sure that the show in question is actually Baywatch? Well, count the number of letters in Rumplestiltskin and Peter Pan. 15 and 8, right? Now look at those bible verses again. Find the 15th word of verse 35 - and the 8th word from the end of verse 32. Put them together.

35. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
32. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

Pure theater (-1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444072)

Yeah, this is a nice show and all. But with neither the U.S. nor Russia possessing the technology to even remotely consider a manned Mars mission anytime in the next 20-30 years, this goes beyond premature and well into the realm of an absurd PR stunt. I'm not exactly sure why the Russian Academy of Sciences is supporting this. Russia scientific agencies haven't shown a particular propensity for PR whoring in the past, unlike some other agencies whose names I won't mention (*coughNASA*). But it's about as meaningful an "experiment" as that silly "Biosphere 2 [wikipedia.org] " trainwreck in the early 90's. And at least we got a crappy Pauly Shore movie out of *that*.

Re:Pure theater (5, Informative)

epiphani (254981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444098)

Having had in-depth conversations with scientists that are actually in the field, I can confidently say that you're wrong.

We have the technology for a trip. We don't have the political will.

The trip would be return though - we don't have the technology to sustain a habitat there independent of earth.

Re:Pure theater (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444348)

Well, it depends how you say it - we have the technology to develop the technology needed. But we don't have much of the rockets, landers, habitats, robotics and whatnot we'd need. Everything would have to be designed and simulated and manufactured and tested and... So even if you said "Go!" today, I imagine it'd take JFKs decade at best. And with no Cold War and huge national prestige breathing down their necks I suspect 20-30 years is a very realistic estimate. Of course with the current political outlook I wouldn't bet on it being the 21st century.

Re:Pure theater (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444422)

Actually we do. we can easily create a sustainable habitat there we have the technology right now. It's all in money. We can create all the air we want IF there is water there we can tap into. send 3 nuclear reactors for power generation, (to have double redundant backup. We need a 13 month OH CRAP survivability window. if everything goes sideways for the next unmanned resupply to send replacements and hopefully land and not crater.

WE could probably do it for the yearly cost of the Middle East wars.

but war is profitable and preferable to humanity. so we choose that above a Martian or even moon colony.

Re:Pure theater (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444540)

but war is profitable and preferable to humanity.

It's not about profitability.

OH MY GOD THEY WILL TRY TO KILL YOU KIDS!!!

Gets a lot more funding than.

Hey man, we could like send some people to Mars. It would be neat.

Re:Pure theater (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444594)

Clearly we need to raise Orson Wells from the dead to do another broadcast of "War of the Worlds". Cause the only way we're going to Mars is if we need to bomb green people back to the stone age.

Re:Pure theater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32444740)

how the fuck is this a troll? Is Glenn Beck moderating on slashdot?

Re:Pure theater (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444226)

We have the technology today, we could start designing, building, and testing a manned mars mission tomorrow. The risks would be high, the costs would be huge, and the time frame makes it politically difficult but we have the technology needed to start and by the time the start is done we'll have the technology to finish.

Because the risks are high, we will almost certainly set out to identify and quantify them before putting too much money into the program. One of the risks that we know very little about are the psychological problems of being trapped in a small, enclosed space with a handful of other individuals for a few years. Especially with such limited contact with the outside world and what is almost undoubtedly an boring, repetitive diet (you'd be surprised at how much something like that will drive people crazy after a while).

Re:Pure theater (2, Insightful)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444496)

Right on... manned space exploration at the moment represents more of a really long, expensive camping trip than space exploration.

Humans aren't particularly adept physically and mentally to live in such confined quarters for months on end. Maybe someday, when we could build larger, sustainable biosphere-like micro-colonies that could stay in space indefinitely and engage the occupants' senses while it cruises around the solar system.

At least exercises like this Mars500 mission can provide us some more psychological insight in how to get along with each other right here on Earth. But for the near term, it would be cool to dump money in more robotic exploration, science, heck, even extraplanetary mining and fabrication.

Re:Pure theater (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444636)

Yes, perhaps I should have added modifier "realistically" to my 20-30 year estimate. I have no doubt that we could be on Mars in 10 years or less if we mounted an Apollo-program-like effort today, but that would require the kind of resources that we're extremely unlike to commit. At the height of the NASA's Apollo development (1966), NASA's budget represented about 5.5% of the total federal budget. To achieve that equivalent level of support today, you would have to increase NASA's budget by over 10x. With a huge (and rising federal) debt, an already out-of-control deficit, and two unending wars still hanging around like albatrosses around the neck of the country; it's pretty unlikely you could even get a Congress to DOUBLE the NASA budget, much less balloon it from $19 billion a year to $200 billion.

Re:Pure theater (0, Offtopic)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444442)

But it's about as meaningful an "experiment" as that silly "Biosphere 2 [wikipedia.org]" trainwreck in the early 90's.

How dare you impugn the scientific credentials of a bunch of improv theater players! They got their credentials from a legitimate art gallery/café in London!

Re:Pure theater (3, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444560)

If you read the link your provided, you will see that Biosphere 2 was nothing close to a scientific experiment. It was not made by NASA, it was not made by scientists.

The questions about a trip to Mars are political. The only technical question is whether we can make it in 6 month or if we'll have an engine to do it in 2 months. The main science question is : what the hell do we need humans on Mars for ?

Re:Pure theater (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444732)

At minimum, humans in orbit around Mars would be handy for teleoperating small fleet of surface robots.

Re:Pure theater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32444790)

what the hell do we need humans on Mars for ?

Mars. Needs. Women.

Re:Pure theater (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444882)

You're looking on the wrong planet. Try Venus.

Re:Pure theater (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444668)

Russia, at the least, has few decades of experience in operating a manned spacecraft essentially capable of beyond LEO operation - heck, Soyuz was the first vehicle which carried macroscopic Earth creatures beyond LEO (around the Moon, to be more specific; most notably - turtles ;p ) and brought them back safely.

They've been toying with the idea for some time now, in low intensity mode. Who knows, they might try something with the heavy versions of Angara rocket and Mir-3, which is supposed to be also, basically, a specedock used for construction.

Don't we already have these? (2, Funny)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444082)

Aren't they called Nursing Homes? Care for the Elderly is strangely akin to this...

Re:Don't we already have these? (3, Interesting)

b0bby (201198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444498)

And TFA (the BBC one) mentions that one of the possible uses for the studies they are doing would be to mitigate the effects of isolation on the elderly.

Should've mentioned ... (2, Interesting)

krou (1027572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444136)

... the blog's in Russian. In Russia blogs translate you, etc. etc. ESA has a mission diary [esa.int] available though, written by Diego Urbina and Romain Charles.

Re:Should've mentioned ... (0, Redundant)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444206)

In Soviet Russia, isolation breaks you!

Bio-Dome (0, Redundant)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444182)

First rule of new bio-dome: No Pauly Shore.

Re:Bio-Dome (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444666)

First rule of new bio-dome: No Pauly Shore.

True, and no Steven Baldwin. However, the oxygen enhancement program is a GO!

vast distance to Mars? (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444262)

Personally I'd consider the distance to the, oh, let's say M31, as vast. Or even the distance to the other side of our own galaxy.

The distance to Mars is, all things being relative, right around the corner.

Re:vast distance to Mars? (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444332)

The distance to Mars, relative to the other side of our galaxy, would be moving in any direction 1nm or less.

Re:vast distance to Mars? (2, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444576)

The distance to Mars, relative to me driving down to the corner store to pick up a 6er of Sam Adams, is mindbogglingly vast. And I live in a rural enough area that it's not a short drive.

Bad humor aside, the distance to Mars (about 55 million km, if you use the closest approach) is still vast compared to a trip to, say, the Moon (the furthest out Humans have been so far, at about 385,000 km).

It's almost 150 times as far to Mars as it is to the Moon. That's sufficiently "vast" that we really need to make sure humans can manage the trip in a confined space without killing each other.

Re:vast distance to Mars? (2, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444480)

You obviously don't live in New England. Up here, we measure distances in time, not linear measurements. If you ask me how far away something is, I'll give you an answer in minutes or hours.

"How far is it to Boston?"
"2 hours"

The distance to Mars is vast enough that I'd probably answer "You can't get there from here."

"Vast" is a matter of perspective. Compared to any distance we've sent humans, Mars is pretty vast.

The distance is sufficiently vast that we need to make sure the driver can handle the folks in the back seat asking "Are we there yet? Now much further is it?" every five minutes. That's why this test is important.

If the people in this box start killing each other, we at least haven't wasted a bunch of billions of dollars to get their corpses to Mars. We can learn what kind of living space we need to work out to maximize their chances of making it there alive and reasonably sane.

Re:vast distance to Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32445098)

If it's going to be a bunch of men in a confined space for a long period of time, there had better be alcohol and pornography.

Otherwise they need to send a bunch of married people with very little tendancy to feel jealous of their partners. Just read Stranger in A Strange Land.

Re:vast distance to Mars? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444534)

Personally I'd consider the distance to the, oh, let's say M31, as vast.

Personally, I'd consider the distance to Mars vast, since it's an order of magnitude greater than the total distance I'm likely to travel in my lifetime.

Re:vast distance to Mars? (2, Interesting)

dylan_- (1661) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444784)

Personally, I'd consider the distance to Mars vast, since it's an order of magnitude greater than the total distance I'm likely to travel in my lifetime.

Not so! At its closest, Mars is about 55 millions km away whereas you travel about 150 million km each year.

Re:vast distance to Mars? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32445006)

If we could just throw the earth out of orbit and into the path of Mars, we could be there in as little as 4 months?

Re:vast distance to Mars? (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444588)

Too bad distances are absolute, then.

Re:vast distance to Mars? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32445064)

Actually, depending on their relative orbits, the distance between Earth and Mars ranges from 55,000,000 km to about 400,000,000 km, so anything but absolute...

Intentionally only men? (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444278)

Did they see it as too big a risk to lock up mixed genders in there?

Re:Intentionally only men? (2, Funny)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444432)

How long til the party gets gay?

Re:Intentionally only men? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32444478)

They only have enough supplies for a fixed number of occupants. Adding even a single woman would put that fixed number in jeopardy.

Re:Intentionally only men? (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444686)

Not really. Bring along a dozen hypos filled with Depo-Provera and a couple RU-486 pills in case of one of the rare failures and you're in the clear. Depo shots last three months, so you only need 4 per year per crew member.

Re:Intentionally only men? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444690)

Yeah, she would own all their salaries at the end of the experiment.

Re:Intentionally only men? (1)

volxdragon (1297215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444766)

Depends on if the plumbing is "fixed" or not :)

Re:Intentionally only men? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444672)

Yes. Mix genders and things just get ugly.

No matter how professional your humans are to start out, unless you have your entire group as either singles not attracted to each other, or very stable and committed couples (and even that's a risk), there's gonna be some serious tension by the end of several years in a confined space. Maybe even some killing.

The best way to reduce the risk is to eliminate sexual tension, and that means picking a single gender. And orgasmotron wouldn't hurt either.

Of course, this also brings some politically charged but valid questions about homosexuality into the debate as well. Regardless of gender, if any member of the crew is potentially sexually attractive to more than one of the other members of the crew, your mission is at a much-elevated risk of trouble.

Could just as easily have been all women (and I think a separate Mars500 mission comprised solely of women would be a good idea to see how well they fare as compared to an all-male crew).

Re:Intentionally only men? (1)

egr (932620) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444862)

The best way to remove sexual tension is probably neutering the whole crew

Re:Intentionally only men? (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444950)

Or by having them all start out ugly. Like Reeeeeeaaaallly ugly.

Re:Intentionally only men? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32445022)

Ever been to a singles bar? The really ugly ones just couple up and leave last. And that happens in a matter of hours, not years.

500 days in a confined space, and you think sexual tension's not gonna happen just because the potential partners are part ape, part coyote?

500 days with an all-male crew. You'll be lucky if some of them aren't humping the lab equipment in the first three months. The prime instinct of the species isn't exactly easy to just dismiss.

Re:Intentionally only men? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32445124)

It might be better to test the theory first with a mixed group (after all, the purpose of the test is to determine the outcome of various scenarios in a relatively controlled and controllable environment). At least that way if it does all go horribly wrong, they have a justification for the single gender study and can avoid the inevitable discrimination accusations.

Re:Intentionally only men? (3, Interesting)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444678)

All male (or all female) is probably the best way to arrange these things, unless they are prepared to give up their privacy in such matters. It's okay to have segregated showers etc in a submarine these days because of the sheer size of them now. But if you are trying to budget for 3-4 man crew, then they have to be comfortable being naked in each other's presence.

It would be a useful second round to try it with mixed genders, but for now arranging it with just the one gender give a more defined control group. This way they can analyse the group for stresses that are not caused by shyness or reproductive ... urges. If round one succeeds and round two fails, then they learn that it's okay to send groups to mars, one gender at a time.

Men require more calories on a day to day basis, so an all female crew would require less resources than a male crew, but women are also much more social creatures, and being without contact to the wider world, would likely affect them more. (In the wild) It has been seen how males would often lead solitary lives (bull elephants, lions, bears) while a lone female (among mammals) is very rare. Women might find it a lot harder to leave everything behind them and go on a trip like this. And for this reason it would be interesting to see a similar project with women and compare the results

It would be interesting to hear from a woman on this subject. If one ever comes here...

Re:Intentionally only men? (-1, Offtopic)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32445060)

Men require more calories on a day to day basis, so an all female crew would require less resources than a male crew, but women are also much more social creatures, and being without contact to the wider world, would likely affect them more. (In the wild) It has been seen how males would often lead solitary lives (bull elephants, lions, bears) while a lone female (among mammals) is very rare. Women might find it a lot harder to leave everything behind them and go on a trip like this. And for this reason it would be interesting to see a similar project with women and compare the results

Parent will be modded down in 3... 2... 1...

Re:Intentionally only men? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444772)

Might be not merely anticipating risk, but acting on experience - last time somebody mixed sexes, it didn't end up good.

Russian Style (2, Informative)

Favonius Cornelius (1691688) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444280)

Last time the Russians tried this, two of them bloodied each other and one of the women was nearly raped. No women this time.

Re:Russian Style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32444384)

Whoa, I don't remember hearing about that. Have a link?


...or pictures?

Re:Russian Style (2, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444490)

The problem has been fixed. They included a vodka dispenser with 24 months worth of vodka in it. It does limit consumption to only 3L per crew member a day.

Last time they ran out of vodka, riots ensued.

Comrade... Hand me the Stoli...

Re:Russian Style (0)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444630)

Which is a nice lead in to my question: Do they have duck tape, hand cuffs, drugs (to sedate the aggressor), and stun guns available? You know, in the event one of them go a little crazy and develop some phychopathic tendencies...

Re:Russian Style (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444756)

Are you going to keep them tied up for 8 months? I'm thinking the only viable alternative would be to kill them and put them in some sort of storage container / big ziploc bag. I'm guessing this part of the mission plan won't be part of the PR packet...

cow penis (0, Offtopic)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444310)

it's right between the udder and the asshole

loving the wrong derby

All men . . . (0, Offtopic)

bob probst (1805192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444318)

but only one Wang among them.

Elephant in the room (3, Interesting)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444508)

How are they going to handle sex?

Re:Elephant in the room (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444574)

They have an inflatable device in rubber with a with depressurisation mechanism attached to the side of the craft for transpermia, nicknamed "love glove".

Re:Elephant in the room (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444586)

How are they going to handle sex?

With the elephant? Eww.

Re:Elephant in the room (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444620)

Same way its handled in prison.

Re:Elephant in the room (2, Funny)

Snarf You (1285360) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444936)

Supervised conjugal visits.

Re:Elephant in the room (4, Funny)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444652)

With an elephant in the cramped rooms you're likely to see on a Mars mission, the last thing on people's minds will be sex. The first thing will be "Oh shit, we're going to be crushed by an elephant," followed by "Man, that elephant stinks." I feel fairly confident that no one will be worrying about how the elephant will handle sex on such a trip.

Re:Elephant in the room (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32445084)

>> How are they going to handle sex?

Manually

Rosy Palm (2, Funny)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444554)

Some with one hand. Others with two.

Re:Rosy Palm (2, Funny)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444908)

So when are they going to send 6 hot women to mars with a CCTV feed on 20 min time delay. That mission might just fund itself.

http://kayrosblog.ru (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32444634)

http://kayrosblog.ru

Obsessional fools, not scientists (2, Insightful)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444744)

These people are obsessional fools, not scientists or explorers. If these morons were serious in finding out what it was like to spend 500 days locked in a room, they could just ask any of the millions of people that the government (USA or Russian Federation, what's the difference?) is holding in prison.

  Space Exploration is a 20th-century quasi-religion that is beginning to manifest itself as a mental disease among those people who continue to believe it too strongly.

  Get over it. Manned space flight was a 20th-century phenomenon that has been determined to be too expensive and too limited in returns to be continued at its former funding levels. We have serious problems now that we didn't have then, and throwing hundreds of billions of dollars (that we don't have anymore) into space doesn't solve them. Grown-up people who have to make hard and realistic decisions about our public funds and resources have decided this. Tom Swift halfwits can't accept it. Too bad. Time to get real.

  People born into 20th-century America are prone to economic fantasy because they have lived their whole lives inside one. What they don't realize is that their country and their government is broke. There is no trillion dollars for space explorations. There is no trillion dollars for anything. There is no trillion dollars left anywhere in the USA.

  There WAS a trillion dollars spent on a Iraq-Afghanistan war that accomplished nothing. There was a trillion dollars spent on maintaining the fantasy that some Wall Street banks and investment firms are too big to fail. There was a trillion dollars spent giving $600,000 mortgages to janitors. There was a trillion dollars spent on federal government budget deficits. Money is not a physical good. Money can be created out of nothing and can disappear back to nothing. Technical people never understand this. They don't study economics, and they don't understand economics.

  There were trillions of dollars unwisely spent...and 'there were' means the past. America was rich, now it's not. There was money in the past but there isn't going to be in the future. The trillions of dollars that space enthusiasts believe could and should be spent on the glorious future in space and its endless possibilities for the betterment of humanity don't exist anymore. They've been already spent; and they're gone. The Burger Kings and endless suburban strip malls is what you got for it. It's all that you're going to get. This is the great tragedy that is America and what it could have been, but isn't and now never will be.

 

Re:Obsessional fools, not scientists (4, Insightful)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444948)

Get over it. Manned space flight was a 20th-century phenomenon that has been determined to be too expensive and too limited in returns to be continued at its former funding levels

I'm holding in the palm of my hand a device more powerful then the computer they used to explore most of our solarsystem. Called a cellphone. (actually a smartphone which is more then a high end computer could do 10 years ago.)

Now, let me tell you, context changes. Time changes. Our technology and knowledge about the universe has changed.

Be it by gazing at the stars and learning about the universe, about motivating and inspiring people to push the limits of the physical possible while they dream about doing awesome things, fed by media, scifi, fantasy, dream-technology or what have you. It inspires and makes you work for days, months, years without end to a seemingly useless purpose.

We have evolved these decades, we have new minds, a new "basic understanding", we process information differently and our younglings and the active working society has different morals, different insights and different goals or knowledge as decades ago.

Instead of shooting it all down, believing your world is fixed and you possess all the current knowledge, you've very intellectually gathered over all these years, as I, it's no reason to disallow discovery or handing over the flag to those who are still eager and unspoilt in their concepts but dare to dream. And their dreams, as yours or mine, are different too.

You wont restore your economy by suffocating it, but by creating economical activity and draw in foreign currency. The problem is when you have "fat years" in a country, people sortof lay back and consume and import. While they're at the same time exporting their wealth, just up the point where it tips over and they're dependent of import (of goods, services, knowledge, ...).

So let these suckers play around with their concept of science, give them boundaries in which they can manoeuvre and need to be creative (no needless large fundings and no "wealthfare" bureaucratic jobs.) things will look much different, then.

tl:dr; time changes.

The new Columbus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32444848)

How long its takes to Columbus to go from Spain to the New World and back ?
It's the same amont of time that someone will use do go the the next new world.
But, we're not there yet, we just begun the new dark age with some moors invasion and some inquisition...

Will they make it to the end? (1)

hengdi (1202709) | more than 4 years ago | (#32444974)

It sounds like World Championship Big Brother.

Interesting roster addition (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32445032)

They should add Pauly Shore to the crew. This way, they recoup their budget expenses as a direct to DVD comedy release.

18 months in isolation (3, Funny)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 4 years ago | (#32445144)

18 months in a confined, dark space is nothing for most Slashdotters.. ofcourse, sociallizing with 5 other people would be.
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