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Last Updated: Thursday December 09 2004 11:51 GMT

Worksheet: Russia looks for Mars volunteers

Russia is preparing for a Mars mission
Russian space bosses want people to help them prepare for a Mars mission, but volunteers won't be blasting off.

Instead they'll spend 500 days in a capsule on the ground to see if people can handle being locked up that long.

It'll take around that long for a space mission to get to Mars, so the Russians want to properly test any equipment they'll be using to get there.

It's also important to work out what happens to the human body after being inside a capsule for that long.

They'll have a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen and the capsule's technology should make all the oxygen the six volunteers will need.

It will also have to keep recycling loads of water as well as storing five tonnes of food and growing extra.

A Russian cosmonaut has already spent almost 500 days in space, with Valery Polyakov living on a space station for 438 days.

That's the longest time someone has spent in space so far, but a Mars mission is expected to take even longer.


Scan the story and answer these questions:

1. How long will voluneteers spend in a capsule?

2. What rooms will there be in the capsule?

3. Where will the oxygen come from?

4. How many volunteers will stay in the capsule?

5. What will happen to the water they use?

6. How many tonnes of food will they have to store?

7. What is the longest time someone has spent in space so far?

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