Space dudes come “home” from stupid trip
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.
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.
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