October 11, 2004

Russian Space Experiment to Emulate Classic Sci-Fi TV

Greetings. Russian space researchers are planning an experiment starting in 2006 which will lock volunteers in a sealed module (with fixed amounts of food, oxygen, and water) for 500 days to simulate a trip to Mars. As might be imagined, NASA researchers are also interested in the results of this effort.

However, fans of classic science-fiction already know some of the risks involved -- we've seen variations of this plot before!

In the 1959 pilot episode of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone" called Where is Everybody?, an astronaut hallucinates a bizarre, uninhabited town while locked in an isolation module acting as a simulated spacecraft for an Air Force experiment.

Even closer to the Russian plan, during the second season of the original "The Outer Limits" in the episode Counterweight (1963), a group of volunteers is sealed in a spacecraft mockup for a long duration interplanetary flight simulation (along with an alien interloper, as they eventually learn).

It should be interesting to see how the Russian experiment turns out. Whether it's "between light and shadow, between science and superstition" or "from the inner mind to the outer limits" -- we wish them well.

But watch out for those mutated-plant aliens! And keep that panic button handy!


Posted by Lauren at October 11, 2004 10:27 PM | Permalink
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