This mis­sion to Mars never gets off the ground

The Washington Post Sunday - - KIDS POST -

What would it be like to go on a mis­sion to Mars?

Six re­searchers are com­ing as close as any peo­ple ever have. They have spent more than 240 days in­side win­dow­less cap­sules in a Rus­sian space cen­ter as part of a 520-day mock flight to the Red Planet and back.

Their mis­sion is meant to help space crews in the fu­ture deal with in­ter­plan­e­tary travel.

The re­searchers com­mu­ni­cate with the out­side world via e-mails and video mes­sages from their bus-sized mod­ule. There are units for ex­er­cise and ex­per­i­ments. The crew mem­bers eat canned food and shower only once a week. A model of the Red Planet’s sur­face is at­tached for the pre­tend land­ing, which is set for Feb. 12.

The re­searchers will spend two days re­search­ing the planet be­fore be­gin­ning the re­turn “flight” to Earth. A real mis­sion to Mars is decades away be­cause of its costs and tech­no­log­i­cal chal­lenges.

What would be the hard­est part of a mis­sion like this? Would you like to go? Send your an­swers to kid­spost@ In­clude your name, age, home­town and a phone num­ber. We may pub­lish some in a fu­ture Kid­sPost.

IVAN SEKRETAREV/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Re­searchers en­tered a cap­sule last June to sim­u­late a trip toMars.

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