Hononulu/Bratislava, April 29 (TASR) – Slovak scientist Michaela Musilova was part of the crew that carried out a simulated mission to Mars in February, a mission that took place on Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii, TASR learnt on Sunday.
The mission, which was supposed to last eight months, was first interrupted after several days in order to be terminated completely soon afterwards.
Musilova, who is the president of the Slovak Organisation for Space Activities (SOSA), told TASR that she is currently working for the Canadian-French-Hawaii Observatory in Hawaii in order to join another mission of this type, which is planned as early as this year.
The Slovak marsonaut stated that the sixth simulated mission to Mars run by NASA was accompanied with problems and critical situations at the very outset. The combination of several of these issues resulted in an injury of one of the crew members who needed hospital treatment.
NASA thus interrupted the mission until the injured crew member returned from hospital. However, before the tests for restoring the mission were concluded, another crew member decided to withdraw from the mission. Since the project couldn’t go on with a three-member crew, the mission as such was terminated completely.
“After that first day, we thought we would have been able to get into some normal routine within a few days, but, unfortunately, the organisers of the mission saw it differently. We experienced crises right from the start, including a broken toilet. I had a real deja vu moment for my simulated mission to Mars in the Utah desert last year,” said Musilova.
The mission was supposed to take place between February 15-October 14 with the aim of testing the psychological resilience of the four-member crew from Australia, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Slovakia.