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Module Mars 500 – November 13, 2010 –

Firstly, I want to thank you all on behalf of the crew to Mars 500 for your messages of support. It always makes us very pleased to hear from Earth.

Our ship always rushes to Mars, and now we’re 70 million miles to Mars. It has been over five months that we live all our modules and 6 in the atmosphere is always good. All our experiments are now under control and the initial feedback we have scientists are very good.

Two weeks ago, we decided to break the monotony of our days by celebrating Halloween. This tradition of Halloween is rooted in neither of our countries (Russia, China, Italy and France) but never mind! The various activities of the day were thus: Decorate the room and the kitchen, watching two horror films by eating sweets, playing Resident Evil 4 during our breaks and disguise. We took great pleasure in discovering the costumes of each since they were done with means at hand (that is to say not much).

I also enclose a photo of the crew that we’ve taken the evening of November 3, exactly five months after our entry in the modules of Mars 500.

Steve, we have very little capacity to stimulate our sense of smell as the air is recycled and purified continuously in our modules. We grow some flowers and some plants and I sometimes stop to smell next to their scents. I also find myself to feel all the objects that have been packed when I open them (like our sheets for example). I will be happy to have a sampling of odors of life.

Jean-Jacques, coming from completely different countries, it is fun to compare our taste for dishes that we enjoy every day. We talk a lot of our food when we are all 6 to table and we have several examples of dishes that one loves while another hates it. (A dish of rice with curry lyophilized and chick peas for example). I have great dish that I like but I think my favorite is a dish of chicken with potatoes and peas with a mustard sauce. My favorite dessert is chocolate cake!

Baptiste, the future of space exploration will surely be a compromise between manned and robotic missions. These have the great advantage of being less costly which puts them in mind for « clearing » the path. However, men have always needed new borders and sending men beyond the moon is a matter of time.

Recent events tend to prove that the next celestial object to be visited will be an asteroid. It will most certainly an international mission as were all the recent major achievements related to space.

Galaxien, there are three problems still poorly known address as priorities for the next mission to Mars:

– Countering the long-term effects of weightlessness (currently studying in the International Space Station)

– To protect the astronauts against cosmic rays

– Ensure that men could endure such confinement (which we are studying)

When these three points are resolved, a real mission to Mars will probably be more than just money.

When we were selected I asked a question about the same and the response of the ESA has been very clear: « no. » At the end of the Mars 500 we have no position that has been promised. Each of us trace its path and, perhaps, the crew will be in a real mission to Mars. J

An exceptional discovery would be to find life on Mars.

I’m sure a woman is just as capable as a man to perform all operations of such a mission. If there is diversity among the crew, I think we should just avoid having a single woman surrounded by men or one man surrounded by women.

See the Earth move away and disappear in the distance would make me a twinge of heart. However, I would have an explosion of joy at seeing her on the way home.In the end I would win.

I have no starting date for a real Mars mission. The most optimistic prognosis that I could find in the press talking about 2020-2025. I believe those dates.

Tatiana, we followed the adventure of Chilean very carefully at the end of August.At lunch we discussed all 6 of their lives to 700m underground. Even if our conditions are much more pleasant and controlled than their own, we felt surprisingly close to them. We decided that day to write them a letter of support that Diego was kind enough to translate into Spanish. ESA has confirmed a few weeks ago they had indeed received our mail. Their evacuation last month made us extremely happy.

Skyboy, I had some echoes of the Route du Rhum from St Malo or Rennes friends who had made the trip. The atmosphere looked great and I really enjoyed participating in the festivities. I knew by choosing to participate in Mars 500 I miss many important events so I’m not too frustrated.

Giwa, our crew is structured as are the current space missions. We have a commander (Alexey Sitov), a doctor (Sukhrob Kamolov), a flight engineer (myself) and 3 specialists (Diego Urbina, Wang Yue and Alexander Smoleevkiy). These are our three experts who will walk on the Martian surface. As flight engineer, my role is to ensure that everything works well in our « ship ».

Firmas, the question of news was discussed at length during the Mars 105 since there was no provision for them. Their experience has enabled the creation of a dedicated server where our head (ie: our psychological support) can upload what we want. In my case, I currently have:

– The internet version of JT TF1 every 2-3 days

– France Inter podcasts every 2-3 days (the press release, head to the square and 2000 years of history)

– A summary of all space-related articles published in the U.S. (this document was prepared by NASA for the ISS)

– The electronic version of a newspaper every week (usually it’s Figaro).

– A summary of the Russian papers prepared by the Embassy of France in Russia.

I can also dig into the information requested by the other members of the crew.(Podcasting « GlobalNews » videos or « Ria Novosti »). I followed carefully the issue of pension reform since my small module lost in « space ».

Montmein, our diet is typical « European » part of our journey and we have no exotic dish. When we are on the way back we will have much less common meal for me because the food will be typed « Russian » or « Korean. » We can also eat whatever vegetables we have grown in our greenhouse. Plants that grow today (salad, green peas, tomatoes, peppers and radishes) does not require much care. Nevertheless many of us we often stop for fun. There are no tests for recycling-related emissions.These tests should be done in the ISS I guess.

Explorer, we all spend a little time each day in our room. Everyone benefits from this quiet moment to read, listen to music, podasts, write e-mails or simply relax. This could amount to an isolation relative to each other, however we always answer to a quarter of a turn when a crew member asked us a hand.

That, I think I made the rounds of all the questions.

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