While the experiment, conducted jointly by Russia, China and the
European Space Agency, will not involve weightlessness, it will try
to tackle some of the psychological challenges of a real flight to
Mars -- particularly the stress, claustrophobia and fatigue that a
real space crew would face during interplanetary travel.
The six-member, all-male crew -- consisting of three Russians, a
Frenchman, an Italian-Colombian and a Chinese -- expressed
confidence that their mission would be a success.
Diego Urbina, the Italian-Colombian member, said the mission
would mean "accomplishing dreams about the future, doing something
that no human has done before."