Simonetta Di Pippo talks with the Mars500 crew at IBMP in Moscow, Russia

Mars500 crew receive visit from ESA Director Di Pippo

29 May 2009

Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight, visited the Mars500 facility in Moscow, Russia, earlier today. During a tour of the facility, she also had the opportunity to talk with the Mars500 crew inside the isolation facility.

As part of her visit to the Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow, Di Pippo also met with IBMP officials and received a tour of the Mars500 facility, where a six-member crew is currently just over halfway through a 105-day simulated Mars mission. The crew includes two ESA-selected crewmembers, Oliver Knickel and Cyrille Fournier, as well as four Russian crewmembers.

"I couldn't pass by Russia to attend Frank De Winne's launch and docking without paying a visit to our other explorers, Oliver and Cyrille," said Di Pippo of her visit. "I feel very close to all these young Europeans who are committed to and perform so well in advancing our experience in human spaceflight and exploration.

"I am particularly proud of the appreciation received by our Russian counterparts on the personal and professional quality of the two Mars500 European crewmembers," she added. "A further demonstration of the quality of our selection procedures developed with the European Astronaut Centre. I am looking forward to further cooperation with IBMP both with experiments in space and analogue activities. I wish the Mars500 crew all the best in the continuation of this simulation and look forward to greeting them at the end of it, in mid-July."

Simonetta Di Pippo talks with the Mars500 crew at IBMP in Moscow, Russia
Simonetta Di Pippo is briefed during her visit to the Mars500 facility at IBMP in Moscow, Russia
Simonetta Di Pippo visited the Mars500 facility at IBMP in Moscow, Russia
Simonetta Di Pippo meets IBMP Deputy Director Oleg Orlov during a tour of the Mars500 facility in Moscow, Russia
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