Imagine what it would be like to be stuck inside a small house with two other people for six months. You get to walk outside once, maybe twice, during that stay, and you get only two sets of visitors in between your arrival and your departure. Imagine that and you have some idea of how U.S. Air Force Colonel Carl Walz, Navy Captain Dan Bursch and their commander, Russian Air Force Colonel Yuri Onufrienko, have been living in their close quarters aboard the orbiting International Space Station, also known as space station Alpha. Colonel Walz said the Expedition IV crew has followed the advice of the station’s previous commander. “Frank Culbertson said you have to have a lot of patience and tolerance, and so we’ve tried to practice that. I think we’re better friends now, we know each other a lot better, having been living together for four straight months,” he said. Long duration spaceflight in earth orbit is one thing but what about trips to Mars in the future? Those journeys could take a year and a half, maybe two years. “Habitability-wise, I think we can do it. Most of the challenges are more mental and psychological and I’m sure people have given some thought to the size of the crew they send on an expedition to Mars and I think that’ll be important,” Captain Dan Bursch.