Today marks the halfway point for the crew of the simulated mission to Mars. Mars 500, as it’s called, is a study that mocks the conditions of space travel inorder to study the effects on astronauts. The 18-month study has volunteers from Italy and Russia placed in a sort of Biodome structure where they can’t leave, eat only space food, and shower once per week.
The halfway point, is the time it takes to make a landing on Mars. So in the simulated test, the subjects of the study have just landed on Mars. They will now come out of their mock spaceship in full space suits and walk around the ‘Martian’ surface — just an over-glorified sandbox. Hopefully, they are able to make it back and not crack under the pressure. If the results of this test are good, then they might send a crew to Mars by 2040.