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Explore Mars event
Long duration space missions could affect crew sleep
Posted: Tue, Jan 8, 2013, 7:54 AM ET (1254 GMT)
A simulation of a 520-day Mars mission demonstrated that crews can become more sedentary and suffer disrupted sleep patterns, scientists reported Monday. The study tracked the sleep and activity patterns of the six people participating in Mars-500, a simulated 520-day round trip mission to Mars carried out in Moscow in 2010 and 2011. Researchers found that, over the source of the simulated mission, the crew became less active and slept more; one person moved from a 24-hour circadian cycle to a 25-hour one. Such changes could pose a risk to an actual mission by making crewmembers less able to respond to an emergency. Scientists suggested taking steps such as lighting changes inside a crew habitat and regular exercise to avoid those issues.
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