MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - A 105-day experiment to simulate a flight to Mars will be concluded on Tuesday at the Institute of Medical and Biological Studies in Moscow.
Four Russians - cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Ryazansky, oncologist Alexei Baranov, and sports physiologist Alexei Shpakov - along with two members of the European Space Agency, French civilian pilot Cyrille Fournier and German mechanical engineer Oliver Knickel, spent over three months in a lab that imitated conditions on board a spaceship.
Each participant was paid 15,500 euros ($20,000) and underwent a variety of physical, psychological and professional tests. The scientists also tested various life-support, communications and scientific equipment.
The 105-day trial was a continuation of a 14-day experiment of November 2007, and precedes the main event, a 520-day simulation flight due to start in late 2009.
The future 520-day experiment will simulate all aspects of a journey to the Red Planet, with a 250-day outward trip, a 30-day stay on its surface, and a 240-day return flight.
During nearly two years of isolation, crew members will experience many of the conditions likely to be encountered by astronauts on a real space flight.
They will stick to a rigid daily regime of work, rest and exercise, and follow the same diet as crews aboard the International Space Station.