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Suburban Moscow only seems like outer space
September 6, 2007 8:00 PM   Subscribe

Russians are planning a trip to Mars, but first they want to better understand the psychological and practical issues involved with long, isolated human travel. So the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems will be locking volunteers into a small, closed system for ~500 days. The ESA is collaborating on the so-called Mars500 project. There is a current call out for volunteers which is open until the end of this month.

Communication with the outside world will be possible during the experiment, but it will be time-delayed to simulate radio transmission from a remote spacecraft back to earth.
posted by dkg (33 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
whoops: forgot to add a link to the brochure soliciting volunteers, which includes a floorplan of the living quarters.
posted by dkg at 8:04 PM on September 6, 2007


this is going to end badly.

(the experiment, I mean, not the thread)
posted by Avenger at 8:09 PM on September 6, 2007


Don't have any biomedical problems? You will soon!
posted by anthill at 8:09 PM on September 6, 2007


I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a can for 500 days without even getting to go to Mars. How much do they propose to pay these volunteers?
posted by Iridic at 8:12 PM on September 6, 2007


I suspect there are more than a few people who wouldn't mind being isolated from society for the remaining 500 days of the Bush administration.
posted by The World Famous at 8:18 PM on September 6, 2007


Maybe, The Wolrd Famous, but even so I don't think I'd want my captors to be Russian.
posted by orange swan at 8:27 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Iridic: the brochure soliciting volunteers (linked in the first comment) mentions fixed compensation in line with other clinical trials, IIRC. So... Probably not so much. Also, in order to receive compensation the individual must complete the entire study, including training and follow-up.

I would love to be a part of something like this, but I'm certain my idiosyncratic demeanor would place me out of the running.
posted by turing_test at 8:31 PM on September 6, 2007


Unless they make you sign a waiver saying you absolutely will not be let out except in case of life-threatening injuries or illness, it probably won't be as useful as they'd like.
And I can almost see the negative publicity now, when the first participant starts going apeshit and demanding to be let out.
posted by nightchrome at 8:33 PM on September 6, 2007


Here's a much better link to the Institute for Biomedical Problems and their plans for the project. Apparently, there is a preliminary 105-day experiment planned, too.
posted by dkg at 8:35 PM on September 6, 2007


I would totally do this, I mean it. They wouldn't take me though, damn anti-fattites.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:36 PM on September 6, 2007


When the experiment is coming to an end they should sense shock them by transporting the habitat to Nevada and letting them out in the middle of the burning man festival. For science.
posted by parallax7d at 8:41 PM on September 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


I would love to do this, but they won't take Americans :-(
posted by cmonkey at 8:51 PM on September 6, 2007


Haven't years of experience with astronaut/cosmonaut crews on the ISS and Mir for long durations covered this ground already?
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:51 PM on September 6, 2007


This sounds a little like Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted. When they start killing each other off and hacking off their own limbs for attention, you heard it here first.
posted by katillathehun at 8:52 PM on September 6, 2007


That’s what scientists at the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems in Moscow are trying to figure out.

Is it just me or does that sound made up?
posted by Afroblanco at 8:55 PM on September 6, 2007


I predict a lame reality TV show appearing in a few years after a US call for MARS study volunteers.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:58 PM on September 6, 2007


This has been my lifelong dream. (Well, not living in a Russian can, but being able to volunteer for the first manned flight to Mars.)

Now that it has finally become a (psuedo-)possibility, I would be rejected for being too old.

Sigh.

*Goes back to his nightly practice of pretending his apartment is the first manned spaceship to Mars.*
posted by trip and a half at 9:09 PM on September 6, 2007


I love how one of the exclusions is imprisoned people. You'd think that went without saying.
posted by Mitheral at 9:13 PM on September 6, 2007


> That’s what scientists at the Institute of Medical and
> Biological Problems in Moscow are trying to figure out.

Is it just me or does that sound made up?

Back in the Soviet days, they caused medical and biological problems. Now they mostly consult to the CIA.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:37 PM on September 6, 2007


trip and a half - I would not be surprised if older personel fared better in inter-planetary travel times.

They know how to keep their libido in check better than a 24 year old, understands patience, and have accomplshed enough not to bne hung up on the ego idea of "failure" if things go wrong.

q.v. old man's war
posted by porpoise at 10:17 PM on September 6, 2007


The news was all ablaze last week with a report on how randy senior citizens are. I didn't read in detail, but my guess is your assumption re: the sex lives of "older personnel" is mistaken.

Lemonparty!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:36 PM on September 6, 2007


WARNING: DO NOT SEARCH "LEMONPARTY."
posted by five fresh fish at 10:37 PM on September 6, 2007


fff - I'd favorite one of those comments, but I don't really need a lemon party in my favorite history.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:42 PM on September 6, 2007


*searches "lemonparty"*

*pukes*
posted by philomathoholic at 10:53 PM on September 6, 2007


Wasn't this a reality TV show in the UK on Channel 4 a while ago?
posted by public at 2:34 AM on September 7, 2007


five fresh fish - hehe, I never said anything about the quantity, just suggested that people of maturity have more experience to be able to control their impulses/hormones than some punk kid.
posted by porpoise at 7:53 AM on September 7, 2007


five fresh fish - hehe, I never said anything about the quantity, just suggested that people of maturity have more experience to be able to control their impulses/hormones than some punk kid.

Scalzi's Old Man's War might also be germaine.
posted by porpoise at 8:01 AM on September 7, 2007


Just wait until Pauly Shore hears about this!
posted by klangklangston at 8:36 AM on September 7, 2007


They should convince the volunteers that they are actually on their way to Mars; that way no one would try to be let out. I mean, it worked out great in Capricorn One, didn't it?
posted by quin at 10:14 AM on September 7, 2007


Who keeps paying for that damn lemonparty site's hosting and domain fees?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:16 AM on September 7, 2007


Me, I prefer countries with institutes against biomedical problems.
posted by Anything at 11:37 AM on September 7, 2007


The Mars Society did a four-month version at their Mars Analog station in the Canadian Arctic: http://www.fmars2007.org/. One of the researchers blogged about it here:
Mars Ho!
posted by richlach at 11:43 AM on September 7, 2007


To maintain their sanity, the crew should be a group of people who love to have hot, hot sex, with each other, all the time. With video feeds back to earth from around the vessel, the trip would also fund itself.

I apologize for stating the obvious.
posted by Anything at 11:52 AM on September 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


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