Two weeks from today, a team—made of three Russians, two Europeans, and one Chinese (with a Russian as an alternate)—will begin the longest trip to nowhere any of them has ever taken. These men will be locked in isolation for 520 days to simulate what astronauts would endure on a trip to Mars, part of a project called Mars500. It follows a 105-day test that the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) ran last year.
“The biggest risk of such an isolation is psychological,” said researcher Alexander Suvorov who is leading the experiment at the IBMP. “Of course relations between the crew will not always be harmonious, some will get on with others, others will not. But the priority is to be able to carry out tasks in spite of this” [AFP].I'm all for doing my part to further science, but I don't think I could go this far.