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Fake mission to Mars leaves astronauts spaced out
guardian uk ^ | Monday 7 January 2013 14.59 EST | Ian Sample

Posted on 01/07/2013 8:25:03 PM PST by BenLurkin

The drudge of interplanetary travel has emerged from research on six men who joined the longest simulated space mission ever: a 17-month round trip to the red planet in a pretend spaceship housed at a Moscow industrial estate.

Though chosen for the job as the best of the best, the would-be spacefarers spent more and more time under their duvets and sitting around idle as the mission wore on. The crew's activity levels plummeted in the first three months, and continued to fall for the next year.

On the return leg, the men spent nearly 700 hours longer in bed than on the outward journey, and only perked up in the last 20 days before they clambered from their capsule in November 2011. Four crew members suffered from sleep or psychological issues.

The ESA selected the crew from thousands of highly qualified applicants, and put them through a year of intensive training. But despite embodying "the right stuff" that underpins the astronaut corps, the men struggled with the tedium of the mission.

"The monotony of going to Mars and coming back again is something that will need to be addressed in the future. You don't want your crew hanging around doing nothing," Basner said. [No kidding]

According to the study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, some crew members fared worse than others. One began living a 25-hour day, and quickly fell out of routine with the others.

Another crew member slept at night but took ever longer naps during the day. Taken together, the two men spent a fifth of their time, or 2,500 hours, asleep when the rest of the crew were awake, or vice-versa. "That cannot be good for mission success, because mission-critical tasks will be scheduled for the day," Basner said.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Science
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"We saw some problems," said Mathias Basner, of the University of Pennsylvania, who studies the effects of sleep-loss on behaviour. "There were no major adverse events, but there could have been if the stars were aligned in a certain way."

Ah...Astrology...

1 posted on 01/07/2013 8:25:14 PM PST by BenLurkin
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Dude, who ate my cheese ?


2 posted on 01/07/2013 8:26:01 PM PST by llevrok (ObamaLand - Where young people go to retire.)
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To: llevrok

X-Box 360, kill zombies. Oh or better yet, send them with their girlfriends/wifes/husbands/boyfriends.... then we can all watch via reality t.v. and fund the entire adventure!


3 posted on 01/07/2013 8:34:51 PM PST by ghannonf18
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To: BenLurkin

They need some honeys on board. Let’s get real.


4 posted on 01/07/2013 8:35:45 PM PST by deweyfrank
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To: llevrok

Sounds like they should have sent some Babes along... Who ate what?


5 posted on 01/07/2013 8:36:01 PM PST by babygene ( .)
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To: BenLurkin

‘Ground control to Major Tom....”


6 posted on 01/07/2013 8:37:43 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: KevinDavis

bump


7 posted on 01/07/2013 8:40:06 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: BenLurkin

Agree with posts re. Dudes alone for 17 months is recipe for tension. Check on navy studies regarding long under ice cruises on boomersubs add women stir and also send a dog a cat a bird and also a garden. But most importantly have them build some module for the mission not critical but important


8 posted on 01/07/2013 8:42:02 PM PST by reluctantwarrior (Strength and Honor, just call me Buzzkill for short......)
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To: BenLurkin

Scatter oakum on the decks...


9 posted on 01/07/2013 8:45:05 PM PST by null and void (The world is full of Maple Streets.)
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To: BenLurkin
What? Spaceships don't have paint to chip and then repaint?

/johnny

10 posted on 01/07/2013 8:45:17 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: BenLurkin

Can you really store a 17 month supply of oxygen?


11 posted on 01/07/2013 8:45:17 PM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: BenLurkin

I thought this was the plot for a Twilight Zone episode.


12 posted on 01/07/2013 8:46:05 PM PST by Arthurio
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To: BenLurkin

Can you really store a 17 month supply of oxygen?


13 posted on 01/07/2013 8:46:34 PM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: reluctantwarrior
But most importantly have them build some module for the mission not critical but important

That sounds suspiciously like NCO kind of talk....

/johnny

14 posted on 01/07/2013 8:47:12 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas
Can you really store a 17 month supply of oxygen?

They make O2 out of urine now on the ISS.

You don't want to know details about the logistics for long-term spacecraft. Russians designed most of it, and it mostly works.

But the less you think about it... the better.

/johnny

15 posted on 01/07/2013 8:50:14 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: BenLurkin

This has long been known. Ever since men have sailed long stretches aboard sailing ships, they are constantly given busywork to keep them occupied. The cleaning and maintenance is necessary, but it is also necessary for the mind.


16 posted on 01/07/2013 8:51:09 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: BenLurkin

If things turned out poorly when these men knew they were still on planet earth, I can imagine what the effect would be when they are in fact surrounded by an empty, airless, cold and heartless void.


17 posted on 01/07/2013 8:54:19 PM PST by KittenClaws (You may have to fight a battle more than once in order to win it." - Margaret Thatcher)
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To: BenLurkin

Send the duck calls dudes, their wives and a few gators and that would be interesting.


18 posted on 01/07/2013 8:56:27 PM PST by plain talk
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To: BenLurkin

Whiskey, Women, and Bowie Knives, should liven things up.

Did I say “Women”? I meant Woman.


19 posted on 01/07/2013 9:50:42 PM PST by ansel12
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To: BenLurkin

The problem is they sent the “best of the best”. What they need to do is lock up a few couch potatoes with enough beer and chips to last them, and then see how it goes.


20 posted on 01/07/2013 9:57:20 PM PST by irishtenor (Everything in moderation, however, too much whiskey is just enough... Mark Twain)
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