Suzy's Russian Space Blog has posted an entry on the Russian Space Program's Mars-500 simulation. The simulation is designed to test problems and long-term crowded space/deprivation conditions for a period of over 500 days, such as what would be undertaken by cosmonauts on a real Mars Mission. Spiegel likens it to a "Big Brother" experiment.
Today the North Pole! Tomorrow, Mars!
Suzy provides all the interesting details in a fashion that I simply couldn't, including the involvement of Russian cosmonaut Sergei Ryazanskii, who is divorced as a result of the experiment. I get the impression he's a well-known Russki hunk from Suzy's reaction.
The most interesting Russian-touch to the living environment is the wooden paneled living quarters, to provide a homey-feel. Rather like living in a banya, without the steam. Suzy is quick to point out wood would not be viable in a space capsule due to fire in the high oxygen environment.
Actually, they have Supercritical Wet Oxidation, so maybe steam is a possibility after all ....
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