astroengine writes: "NASA is looking at using the International Space Station as a testbed for a human mission to Mars, beginning with a planned week-long simulation to be staged next summer. Preliminary tests would involve working on systems that give astronauts more autonomy, perhaps culminating in a full mission analog, sealing a crew inside a separate module of the station with minimal interaction with the rest of the station and mission control. "We want to use the space station as a way to get smarter about what a mission to Mars or a mission to an asteroid might look like," space station flight controller Pete Hasbrook told Discovery News."
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