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MARS500 - General Mars500
Moscow, June 3rd 2010

Finally! Today's the day. The sun is shining over Moscow. The hatches close with a faintly smacking sound. Dozens of flash bulbs go off. The life support system boots up for the next 520 days. Six crew members get ready for entry into orbit before docking with the giant propulsion module with its even larger solar sails. The solid rocket boosters accelerate with a rumble. Slowly, the electric drives gear up with a stinging arc of light and accelerate the crew to 14km/sec, a speed never before reached by a human. It's on a course to Mars. And a daily routine begins for the next 240 days in microgravity, while home is shrinking into a small blue star in the rear window. Only three astronauts will be able to say the sentence that will mark the new millennium. Perhaps it's this one: "We are the first to step on Mars, and we won't be the last".

Bild1Finally! Today's the day. The sun is shining over Moscow. The hatches close with a faintly smacking sound. Dozens of flash bulbs go off. The life support system boots up for the next 520 days. Six crew members get ready for entry into orbit before docking with the giant propulsion module with its even larger solar sails. The solid rocket boosters accelerate with a rumble. Slowly, the electric drives gear up with a stinging arc of light and accelerate the crew to 14km/sec, a speed never before reached by a human. It's on a course to Mars. And a daily routine begins for the next 240 days in microgravity, while home is shrinking into a small blue star in the rear window. Only three astronauts will be able to say the sentence that will mark the new millennium. Perhaps it's this one: "We are the first to step on Mars, and we won't be the last".

I'd like to take the opportunity on this solemn day to tell of the breath-taking preparations of this experiment in the coming months. I am probably the only representative here to participate in this "flight to Mars" with partners from enterprise without a national stake.  The ticket was immensely dear. For many it is priceless and cost us 5 years worth of time, ideas, enthusiasm and vision.

This is why I'd like to extend my gratitude to Bruno Banani, spaceflight ambassador Yvonne, Prof. Evgeniy Demin (IMPB), Prof. Anatoly Zotov (MAI), Prof. Vladimir Malozemov (MAI) and last but not least also Prof. Dr. von Puttkamer (NASA) for their constant support. But also our visionary students since 2005 have contributed to this. In particular, I wish to thank Regina Peldszus (Doctoral Researcher Space Habitability Design, Kingston University London), Ivan Therekov (Engineer at Suchoi), Stefan Martini (Moonbuggy Pilot), Vanessa Gstettenbauer (Mission 3) and Thommy Knabe (Moonbuggy Chief Designer).

 

Five years ago, when I first entered the module at IMBP with German students and listened to the engineers, I would never have guessed that we'd play a part in the preparations for a human flight to Mars some day. Nevertheless we caught the bug: infected with curiosity and the insight that it's possible to constantly push your own boundaries. You only need the determination to do it.



Friedrich Zander

However, today I'd like to remember a man who gave his life for this dream. Friedrich Zander (1887-1933) was a German born Russian engineer and spaceflight pioneer who coined the term of the heading "Perechod na Mars". Sacrificing his health, he built the foundations that today form the basis of the Mars module: The support of life adoring interplanetary long duration missions. It was him who discussed feasibility issues with the godfather of spaceflight, Ziolkowsky. It was him who formed the first group of enthusiastic young engineers (GIRD) and aimed for Mars early on, together with Korolyov who later built Sputnik and Gagarin's rocket. He named his daughter Astra. Today, she is over 80 years old and lives to see the actualisation of this dream.

 

Today I presented the chief designer of the Mars-bound spacecraft with a photograph of my daughter Cosma who's standing in front of the mighty Saturn V rocket in Davidson Center, Huntsville/Alabama. He'd like to place it in the spacecraft. May Cosma, who's three years old, live to know the dreams of Astra, her father and all visionaries, and to maybe fulfil them some day.

 

 

http://mars500.imbp.ru

www.spaceeducation.de

http://spaceeducation-de.blogspot.com/2010/06/perechod-na-mars-auf-zum-mars.html

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