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Scientists begin 520-day Mars mission simulation

MOSCOW — An international team of researchers climbed into a set of windowless steel capsules Thursday to launch a 520-day simulation of a flight to Mars intended to help real space crews of the future cope with confinement, stress and fatigue of interplanetary travel.
The six-member, all-male crew of three Russians, a Frenchman, an Italian-Colombian and a Chinese will follow a tight regimen of experiments and exercise under video surveillance.The Mars-500 experiment — conducted by the Moscow-based Institute for Medical and Biological Problems in cooperation with the European Space Agency and China's space training center — aims to reproduce the conditions of space travel, with exception of weightlessness.
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