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There would be probably no women on the first flight to Mars
Director of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IMBP), academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, member of the Presidential Council on Sciences and Education Anatoly Grigoryev announced after his speech in front of the students of the Moscow International University. "After all, women are fragile and delicate creatures; that is why men should lead the way to distant planets and carry women there in their strong hands," the head of IMBP said with a smile. In his opinion, the first flight to Mars will put an enormous psychological and physical pressure on volunteers. Only experienced men can endure such a test. "It is better to send professionals aged 35-55 with mandatory prior experience of space flight on a two-year voyage to Mars," he added. Academician Grigoryev reminded that the selection of volunteers for the land-based modeling test of a manned flight to Mars would start sometime in the fall of 2005, after the Congress on Space Biology and Medicine in Berlin in September. "At present, the institute receives volunteers' letters from the United States, Greece, Belgium, Austria. This experiment has the support of Roskosmos and the Academy," Mr. Grigoryev stated. He said that initially two six-man crews would be selected. Two astronauts with a lot of flight experience have already expressed their desire to become members of the first group. The second will be a "control" group. It will provide an external support for the experiment. The estimated cost of the "500 days" experiment is about $10 million. The real manned flight to Mars will be possible sometime between 2018 and 2030.
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