New Biosatellite To Study Life In Martian Gravity Mars Society

The Translife Mars Gravity Biosatellite, as the mission will be called, will fly the mice aboard a spinning spacecraft that generates artificial gravity identical to that on the surface of Mars. The satellite is scheduled to launch in mid-2005, orbit for about 50 days, and then return the crew safely to Earth. The team is considering a number of launch vehicle options. The mission will conduct basic scientific research necessary before humans can safely explore Mars. Astronauts living in space stations have encountered serious health problems, such as bone loss, due to the weightless environment. The first crew on Mars could experience similar effects, and scientists do not yet know whether Martian gravity is sufficient to prevent these long-term health hazards. The mission’s crew of mice will provide the first answers to this important question, and the equally important question of whether higher life from Earth will ever be able to settle Mars. During the seven-week mission, their offspring will grow from birth to nearly adulthood in Martian gravity. At the end of the flight, the satellite will re-enter the atmosphere, bringing the original crew and their progeny safely back to Earth for scientific study.