Mock Mars Mission ‘Arrives’ at Red Planet FoxNews

A 520-day attempt to simulate an entire mission to Mars has hit a major milestone, “arriving” in mock orbit around a mock Red Planet after months of virtual interplanetary flight.
The Mars500 mission “spacecraft” — actually a collection of sealed habitats in Moscow — entered a simulated orbit phase around the Red Planet on Tuesday (Feb. 1), according to the European Space Agency. Three of the craft’s six crewmembers, all of whom are volunteers, will “land” on Mars on Feb. 12 to make three deployments onto simulated Martian terrain, ESA officials said.
Mars500 — a $15 million joint experiment by ESA, Russia and China — aims to study the complex psychological and technical challenges that must be solved for long spaceflights, officials have said. The project has been running for more than eight months in a mock spacecraft at the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow.