Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European Mars500 participants announced

12.12.2008
The final four Europeans who are set to take part in a 105-day simulated Mars mission were presented to the media in Paris today. From March next year, two of the group will join four Russian participants inside an isolation facility in Moscow.

A selection process which started with 5600 applicants has now been finalised with the presentation today of the final four participants at ESA’s Headquarters in Paris, France.

“These four men are highly motivated individuals,” says Jennifer Ngo-Anh, ESA's Mars500 Programme Manager. “Of course they are adventurous and also very ambitious, but not overly competitive. They have shown themselves to be good team players, which also makes them ideal participants for the study.”

Prime and backup crew

After completing a two-month period of training for their mission, two of the group will be chosen as prime crew to join four Russian-selected crewmembers inside the specially designed isolation facility in Moscow. The other two will act as backup crew, stepping in to replace a prime crewmember right up until the last moment if necessary.

For 105 days, as part of a cooperative project between ESA's Directorate of Human Spaceflight and the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP), the six-strong crew will live, eat, sleep and work in the recently refurbished facility.

During this time they will experience elements of a simulated Mars mission. Their stay is in preparation for the full Mars500 study due to start later in 2009, which will see another six-member crew sealed in the chamber to experience a complete 520-day Mars mission.

The purpose of the Mars500 study is to gather data, knowledge and experience to help prepare one day for a real mission to Mars. The participants will act as subjects in scientific investigations to assess the effect that isolation has on various psychological and physiological aspects, such as stress, hormone regulation and immunity, sleep quality, mood and the effectiveness of dietary supplements.

A unique experience

It is no surprise to hear that all four men are very proud to have reached the final selection. “I am honoured and curious to continue with the project,” says Frenchman Cedric Mabilotte (34) from Paris. "It is a unique experience at the heart of current human spaceflight activities. These will be stories to tell to our grandchildren!"

"It is also a lot of responsibility of course," adds airline pilot Cyrille Fournier (40) from France. "I know the Mars500 programme is important for ESA and, I hope, for space exploration. So it is quite a responsibility to make sure that all the experiments go correctly and that we can collect some interesting results."

Most of us would not relish the prospect of spending 15 weeks confined in a small space with five other people, but Arc'hanmael Gaillard (32), an electronic engineer from Rennes, France, is confident he will cope. "I have spent several years working in a clean room, so I am accustomed to confined environments," says Gaillard. "I am looking forward to proposing solutions that can ultimately improve conditions on a real mission to Mars."

The participants have already started to think about personal items they will take with them into the facility. Because of limited storage space, each crewmember will be allowed to take in just one average sized suitcase of items. Like the other three participants, Oliver Knickel (28), a mechanical engineer in the German army, doesn't plan to take anything big: "Probably some family pictures, possibly some music and some books so I will have something to read and pass some time."

Challenges

All four are in agreement; it will be difficult to be away from friends and family for so long. Although, Knickel believes successfully completing the study will be the biggest personal challenge. "To go into it and to successfully take part," explains Knickel. "The whole time not giving up and completing the whole mission."

"The hardest part will probably be the little details in everyday life – something we didn’t expect," adds Fournier. "It is easier to prepare and train for things that you can expect and plan to happen, but if something comes up that you hadn’t expected in advance you won’t be prepared to deal with it."

"The human factor is to me the most interesting and complex, it will be a deep micro-social experience," says Mabilotte. "It will be a challenge not in the sense of 'difficulty', but in the sense of a 'meaningful experience'."

The four participants will start their training in Moscow in January. The crew of six is set to enter the isolation facility at the start of the 105-day study on 24 March 2009.

Erica Rolfe | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaHS/SEMI3FSTGOF_index_0.html

Further reports about: 105-day ESA Human Spaceflight Mars Mars500 Moscow mission to Mars

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope
13.12.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

nachricht Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure
13.12.2017 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>