space: June 2010 Archives

275x250.jpg Felix Baumgartner - who plans to do a free-fall skydive from the edge of space - has tested his pressurised space suit by doing bungee jumps.

During his Red Bull Stratos mission Baumgartner will use a helium balloon to float to the edge of space before plummeting back to Earth at speeds of 690mph.

To make sure he is comfortable in his suit, which needs to protect against temperatures of -56C, his team are now conducting a series of tests which have included stepping-off from the actual capsule, high-altitude skydives and the bungee jumps -- carried out in a deserted fairground.

But at just 200ft fall per bungee jump, Baumgartner will have to do 600 to match the 120,000ft he will fall during the actual jump.

275x250.jpgSix volunteers have begun 18 months of isolation in a Russian research centre - to see what a mission to Mars would be like.

The men - an Italian, a Frenchman, three Russians and one Chinese man - will spend 520 days in the sealed facility to see if they could cope psychologically.

While in there they will have to survive on the limited rations that would be available on a mission to Mars, and their only contact without he outside world will be email.

The study will recreate a real mission as much as possible, with the centre mimicking the size and shape of a space craft and the team will be given daily roles.

However, given they will not leave Moscow the chances of them encountering aliens it considerably slimmer.

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