One of the biggest problems in space travel is psychological fitness. If you don’t believe us, lock yourself in an RV with four of your coworkers for, let’s say, two days. If you’re not ready to strangle them, they’re probably ready to strangle you.
So a mission to Mars, which would take about two years, presents some, ah, problems. They needed to test whether locking six guys on a mission was even feasible or if they’d all go ballistic on each other from cabin fever. Turns out that, after the four day isolation, they can.
What’s most impressive about this, aside from the fact that they lived in relative comfort in Moscow, is that none of the astronauts bailed on the test at any point. This despite one shower a week and delayed emails from friends and family. They literally could have gotten out at any time, and didn’t. So, we salute their intestinal fortitude and bringing the dream of a Mars mission that much closer.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got some coworkers to lock in an RV and make ’em fight.
[ via the astronuts at Wired ]