ISS can help simulate flight to distant planet

Russia is ready to offer NASA a long-duration mission project simulating interplanetary voyages, Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Medical and Biological Problems Director Igor Ushakov said.

Russia is ready to offer NASA a long-duration mission project simulating interplanetary voyages, Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Medical and Biological Problems Director Igor Ushakov said.

"The possibility will be discussed with our U.S. colleagues at a working meeting in Houston," he said on Thursday at a scientific-and-practical conference, "Science and ISS Experiments".

"The Institute of Medical and Biological Projects can make an even more interesting offer combining a long-duration mission with landing. In that case, the mission will last for six to nine months, the cosmonaut will land on Earth and go on another mission one month later, without having rehabilitation," Ushakov said.

He said the mission would be the best simulation of a flight to a distant planet.

The project may start in the foreseeable future, "and a flight or two of the kind may be performed while the ISS is still in use," the institute director underlined.

He also said that Russian cosmonauts had offered the United States to simulate a yearlong mission based on the ISS flight plan on the Earth.

"There is an idea, and it is being discussed. We are proposing a Russian-U.S. experiment based on the ISS yearlong mission protocol to be held right here, on the Earth," he said.

"It could be a test experiment," Ushakov added.

In his words, the partners can use the Mars 500 facility built for simulating a flight to Mars.

"This facility possesses essential equipment and infrastructures," the researcher noted.

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