Tags: Space | Station | Mars | NASA

NASA Considers Space Station for Mars Dry Run

Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012 02:22 PM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The international space station may provide the setting for a 500-day pretend trip to Mars in another few years.

NASA said Tuesday that consideration is under way to use the space station as a dry run for a simulated trip to and from Mars.

It would be patterned after Russia's mock flight to Mars that lasted 520 days at a Moscow research center. Six men were involved in that study, which ended late last year. They were locked in a steel capsule.

Astronaults will have to spend more than six months aloft at a time before they can fly beyond low-Earth orbit, said Mike Suffredini, NASA's space station program manager.

The human endurance record of 14 months was set by a Russian cosmonaut aboard the Mir space station in the mid-1990s.

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