Space dudes come “home” from stupid trip

November 5, 2011

Okay, I thought this was a goofy idea 17 months ago, and I haven’t changed my mind.

Back in mid-2010, I made fun of a Russian science experiment where six guys were about to “simulate” a trip to Mars, by spending 520 days in a mock “spaceship” on Earth.

Halfway through the isolation period, three crewmen even donned bulky spacesuits to clomp around in a dark, sand-filled room, imitating the surface of Mars.

Yesterday, having gone absolutely nowhere, the six came “home.” They emerged, pale and bleary-eyed and greeted their families, just as if they had really returned from someplace.

Then they were immediately taken away for a three-day quarantine period. Really.

In fairness to these six guys, though, they did finish what they started, unlike a similar experiment in 2000.

That earlier project was a drunken disaster, aborted after two participants got into a fistfight and a third tried to forcibly kiss a female crew member. Let’s see, booze and chicks are a problem. Who could have seen that one coming?

So by comparison, I suppose these guys really distinguished themselves. Their government owes them a debt of gratitude, and should  put them in another room and pretend to send them to Las Vegas or someplace. It’s the least they can do.

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Top: Mars500 experiment crew members react after leaving the mock spaceship in Moscow November 4, 2011. REUTERS/IBMP/Oleg Voloshin/Handout

Left: Mars500 experiment crew members receive flowers after leaving the mock spaceship in Moscow November 4, 2011.  REUTERS/IBMP/Oleg Voloshin/Pool

Right: A technician participating in the Mars500 experiment, which simulates a 520-day flight to Mars, is seen at a confinement module in Moscow May 18, 2010. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

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Or put them in another room and have Mickey, Goofy, Cinderella and the rest of the Cartoon Crew peer in the windows at them. Let them think they’ve landed in Disney World, but can’t get out for another 17 months….

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

I can’t decide… or

BG, you should at least grant them free admission to the GFM&DS and maybe a free cruller and coffee.

Posted by GeorgiaPeach | Report as abusive

Especially when the only entertainment was a dubbed copy of Capricorn One.

Posted by FriscoJohn | Report as abusive

As a trip, it leaves much to desire. Though when you think of it, they got free room and board, free uniforms, no traffic jams to deal with on the road and got paid for it? Then got a pretty rose when they got out as a thank you? Had the opportunity been over here, I’d have signed up for it when I was out of work! When is the next mock trip to Venus? (All the men were from Mars.)

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

I am gonna give it a go;

Russians back from space
Though they never left the ground
Did they still drink Tang?

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

I’d’ve gone postal after 5 days, let alone 500. Did they really give them booze on the earlier experiment?! What else would result from that than chaos?

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Where’s Dave? I’ll accept ‘Daves not here!’ But, is Dave all right?

Not to downplay Cheech and Chongs comedy, but I hear that some rough play has been dealt to some of the contractors based in Afghaniland. Or at least to their compound.

I guess the question of, ‘How’s Dave?’ would be more correct, but I do worry about that rascal!

Posted by uncarastus | Report as abusive

Me, too, Unca…

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

Dave’s safe in the US of A..
As for this exp, I give credit where its due.. They stayes with an Italian for 500 days without breaking into a fist fight.
Brava! Brava!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Hey, those guys aren’t wearing their official T-shirts, the ones that read ‘I went into pretend space for 520 days and all I got was this crappy rose’.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

@Nosmo: That’s the problem with a still shot like this. What you missed was the video from this scene. Somebody started up some music, and the men started to do the Full Monty. When they unzipped their space suits, they were wearing those T-shirts underneath.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive


Thanks for the thoughts. I’m not hanging in the cave anymore, although I will go back for a bit next month.

And as far as the guys from the bogus space mission, how come none of them were wearing a clown nose? I thought that was part of the space uniform now?

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive