March 31, 2009
STAYING PUT ON EARTH, but taking a step toward Mars. “On Tuesday, six people will be voluntarily locked into a cloister of cramped, hermetically sealed tubes woven inside a Moscow research facility the size of a high school gymnasium. They will eat dehydrated food, breathe recycled air and be denied conversation with practically everyone else but one another. And they must stay inside for 105 days.” This is good research, but I wonder how realistic such tests are — given that the participants’ knowledge that they’re not really bound for another planet must surely color everything?