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November 4, 2011 12:46 AM   Subscribe

Mars-500, a simulated 520-day mission to Mars (previously and previously), will be completed today at 11:00 CET. Watch live
posted by baueri (26 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
The experimental isolation facility, didn't I see this on a teleshopping channel promising firm buns and thighs with just a ten minute workout?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:55 AM on November 4, 2011


For our American viewers, the current time is 9:00 CET.

Subtract 8 hours from CET to get PDT. Subract 5 hours to get EST.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:01 AM on November 4, 2011


I really like the tastefully wood paneled interiors of their simulated spaceship.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:03 AM on November 4, 2011


I goofed that last comment. Subtract 5 hours for EDT.

Remember that GMT + 1 = CET, GMT = UTC, and PST = UTC - 8, EDT = PDT + 3, and you should be fine.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:18 AM on November 4, 2011


You can teach people to fish, or...

The hatch opens at 3AM pacific, 6AM eastern.

posted by floam at 1:21 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


These simulated expeditions to Mars are fine until you run into simulated Martians. Orson Welles did an exposé about this, many years ago, and the results are really quite frightening.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:35 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Hi. Hey. Wow, that was a long time. First - I need to get as far away from these other people as possible and take a long hot shower. Next - bring me a salad with a little dirt on it, a strong beer and a pizza. And a live cat. I never want to play chess again. Wait, who the fuck is Kim Kardashian?"
posted by loquacious at 2:29 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Though, they say "email has been the only way to communicate" like it's a bad thing.

Heck, you could find a bunch of nerds that could probably easily survive isolation for ten times longer if you equipped them with an assortment of weed, video games, a bunch of non-perishable junk food and a steady stream of slightly delayed downloads of the software, television and porn types. You wouldn't even have to check in on them. They'd only come out when one of those key supplies ran out.
posted by loquacious at 2:37 AM on November 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


I've been training for a generation ship all my life.
posted by floam at 2:45 AM on November 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Heh, I just saw someone switch to VLC.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:53 AM on November 4, 2011


They just opened the hatch, and they all look quite healthy. No word yet whether one of them harbors an alien within his body.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:59 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The production is kind of lousy. They only had how much time to prepare? Also, here, sometimes the video seems to freeze — it restarts as soon as you refresh the page.
posted by floam at 3:02 AM on November 4, 2011


It's kind of surreal to see these guys giving speeches about their simulated trip to Mars. Clearly it was an ordeal for all of them, but really... they didn't leave Earth. They've been sealed in an isolation chamber together since June 2010, and that would be certainly difficult, but they haven't actually been in space.

It's like some weird reality TV show where if you get voted off the island you can take a local city bus back home.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:10 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's a ship that might actually take people to Mars, the Nautilus-X, complete with a spinning ring to produce artificial gravity.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:27 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a big fan of manned spaceflight but even I think this was a colossal waste of time.
posted by joannemullen at 4:14 AM on November 4, 2011


Heard about this on the radio, and was severely disappointed that they left out the most crucial bit of information of all: did everybody end up fucking everybody else, or what?
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:38 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ha, a lot of things turned out be wastes of time when sending people into space. But they had to run the tests because they'd didn't know what they didn't know, you know? At best, this probably gave them a few ideas on what to look out or watch for in crew dynamics and mission control.

Sending humans to Mars will be incredibly demanding on the crew. If these various simulations can give those set a heads up about potential problems, then it will have been worth it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:43 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I could handle a year in isolation if I were going to Mars. But spending a year in an isolation chamber on Earth? Just think of the damage that would do to your career, your family and friends.... What if your parents die, or your spouse divorces you? It's hard for me to imagine anyone wanting to do this, though Wikipedia says there were 6,000 volunteers.
posted by miyabo at 7:57 AM on November 4, 2011


I love their April Fools' Day photo!
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 8:10 AM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there a video showing the exit? Nothing seems to be left on the live stream.
posted by Four Flavors at 9:14 AM on November 4, 2011


The reason I think it's a waste of time is that the psychological pressures of actually going to Mars will be completely different. The crew on a real Mars mission will be extraordinarily famous back on earth, face real danger and isolation and be motivated by the knowledge that, whatever happens, they're going to go down in history in capital letters. It's the difference between strumming a song in your bedroom and before 10,000 people. The ability to do the former has nothing to do with the ability to do that latter.
posted by joannemullen at 9:50 AM on November 4, 2011


Here's a video of the exit for those of us that missed the live stream.
posted by dutchbint at 9:51 AM on November 4, 2011


The reason I think it's a waste of time is that the psychological pressures of actually going to Mars will be completely different.

Yeah, but that's probably not the only thing they're testing. No simulation is 100% perfect, but they do them to get as close as possible.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:44 AM on November 4, 2011


"Hi. Hey. Wow, that was a long time. First - I need to get as far away from these other people as possible and take a long hot shower. Next - bring me a salad with a little dirt on it, a strong beer and a pizza. And a live cat. I never want to play chess again. Wait, who the fuck is Kim Kardashian?"

This is exactly how I feel after coming off of a long research cruise. Nicely summarized, loquacious.

That said, things are way different now. Access to the Internet changes everything, and I am not really an Internet fanboi. OldFartFilter: when I started (25 years ago, yawn) the only way to call home was a $15/minute satellite call (if it worked, which wasn't always, or if they let you, which they generally didn't), or a ham radio patch through a NASA experimental satellite where you'd talk to a ham operator in Florida who'd make a collect call for you and hold the phone up to the mic and everyone in the western hemisphere could hear you say "I love you. Over." etc. I recall the psychological pressures being much higher then. If future astronauts have good connectivity, they'll be fine.
posted by zomg at 10:49 AM on November 4, 2011


It's the difference between strumming a song in your bedroom and before 10,000 people. The ability to do the former has nothing to do with the ability to do that latter.

That's great news; I can't play a guitar in my bedroom to save my life, but I was booked for Carnegie Hall next Thursday. Here I was all being worried, when the two are totally unrelated and I'll probably be fine.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:07 PM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Heck, you could find a bunch of nerds that could probably easily survive isolation for ten times longer if you equipped them with an assortment of weed, video games, a bunch of non-perishable junk food and a steady stream of slightly delayed downloads of the software, television and porn types.

Mars 420.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:57 PM on November 4, 2011


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