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N° 48–2008: ESA presents European participants in Mars500 isolation study

5 December 2008

March 2009 will see two European participants entering a set of modules at the Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow. Together with four Russian participants, they will be sealed inside these isolation chambers for 105 days. This joint ESA IBMP campaign is a preparatory study leading up to the 520-day isolation study in the form of a full-fledged simulation of a mission to Mars that is due to start end-2009.

As with a real space mission, the two European participants will have European backups. The backups (three in this case) will go through the same training and preparation and will be able to step in at the last moment if need be. In addition, they will have tasks to carry out in the mission control centre over the 105 days.

ESA’s Directorate of Human Spaceflight has a longstanding tradition of conducting research on the physiological and psychological aspects of spaceflight. ESA’s bedrest studies, in particular, are at the forefront of scientific research to understand how the human body reacts under microgravity conditions, the aim being to devise effective countermeasures and enable humans to undertake long-term missions in space. Mars500 is part of these scientific efforts to prepare for human exploration missions.

These five Europeans were selected following a thorough process that started in May at the European Astronauts Centre in Cologne once the initial 5600 applications had been reduced to a shortlist of 32. The selection procedure for these candidates was similar to that applicable to real astronauts. Three are of French nationality, one is Swedish and one German.

On the occasion of the finalisation of the selection process, media are invited to attend a press conference at ESA Headquarters on 11 December starting at 15:30, during which the European participants will be presented. Media representatives wishing to attend the event are kindly requested to fill in the attached accreditation form and return it by fax to the ESA Headquarters Media Relations Office.

For more information:

Franco Bonacina
ESA Spokesman and Head of Media Relations Office
Communications and Knowledge Department
Tel: + 33 (0)1 53 69 72 99
email: franco.bonacina@esa.int

Markus Bauer
ESA Communication Officer for the Directorate of Human Spaceflight
Communications and Knowledge Department
Phone: + 31 71 565 6799
email: markus.bauer@esa.int

Mars500 Media Day
11 December 2008
ESA Headquarters, 8-10 rue Mario Nikis, 75015 Paris, France

Programme

15:15 Doors open
15:30 Welcoming of attendees
Mars500 – Preparing for Human Exploration Simonetta di Pippo, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight

15:45 Mars500 – The Study
Martin Zell, Head of ISS Utilisation Department, ESA Directorate of Human Spaceflight

16:05 Mars500 – The Participants
16:05 Mars500 participant 1
16:10 Mars500 participant 2
16:15 Mars500 participant 3
16:20 Mars500 participant 4
16:25 Mars500 participant 5

16:30 Questions & Answers

17:00 End of programme

Mars500 Media Day
11 December 2008
ESA Headquarters, 8-10 rue Mario Nikis, 75015 Paris, France 15:30-17:00

First name:_________________________________________________________

Last name: ______________________________________________________________

Media organisation: ______________________________________________________

Phone number: __________________________________________________________

email: ___________________________________________________________________

( ) I will attend the media day

Please return by fax or email to:

Brigitte Kolmsee
Media Relations Office
Communication and Knowledge Department
Fax: + 33 (0)1 5369 7690
email: Brigitte.Kolmsee @ esa.int

For further information:

ESA - Media Relations Office
Tel: +33.(0)1.5369.7299
Fax: +33.(0)1.5369.7690



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