Russia’s Groundbreaking Year-Long Space Mission: 6 People in Isolation for ‘Martian’ Experiment

Russia debuts the latest Scientific International Research In Unique Terrestrial Station (SIRIUS) project, launching the SIRIUS-23 – a groundbreaking 360-day isolation of participants to replicate deep space travel conditions. This mission is guided by the storied Institute for Bio-Medical Problems (IBMP) under the esteemed Russian Academy of Sciences, which recently commemorated 60 years of space research. SIRIUS-23 marks the fourth phase of IBMP isolation experiments, following SIRIUS-17 (17 days in 2017) and SIRIUS-19 (120 days in 2019), with the third stage, SIRIUS-23, occurring in 2021 and extending over 240 days. The crew commenced their lunar mission simulation on November 14, involving a lunar flyby, simulated landings, orbiting, and tele-operating a lunar rover. SIRIUS-23 differs from prior simulations, lacking NASA involvement and featuring an all-Russian speaking crew and an increased number of women, offering insight into psychophysiological and other intra-group interaction dynamics. In the absence of NASA, the International Research and Isolation Studies (IRIS) program will closely monitor the SIRIUS-23 mission, which aims to study the effects of prolonged isolation for future space travel endeavors. The six-person team comprises a diverse group of professionals to investigate the adaptation of the human body to extreme conditions and isolation, with each participant fulfilling a specific role to contribute to the success of the arduous experiment.


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