6 Mock Mars Explorers Emerge from 520-Day Virtual Mission

After being isolated from the rest of the world for nearly a year and a half, sealed away in a mock spacecraft, six volunteer astronauts “returned” to Earth today (Nov. 4) to end a simulated mission to Mars and back.
The hatch of the pretend Mars500 spaceship, which is actually a special isolation facility at the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems in Moscow, was opened at 6 a.m. EDT (1000 GMT) this morning to mark the successful completion of a 520-day simulated journey to the Red Planet. The six volunteer crew members had been living and working in the Mars500 facility since June 2010.
The international Mars500 crew is made up of Italian engineer Diego Urbina, French engineer Romain Charles, Russian physiologist Alexandr Smoleevski, Russian surgeon Sukhrob Kamolov, Russian engineer Alexey Sitev and Chinese astronaut trainer Wang Yue.