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Last updated at 12:10 BST, Thursday, 10 June 2010

Journey to Mars

A computer animated image of an astronaut on the surface of Mars

Callum and Kate learn about an experiment taking place in Moscow in which six men will spend 500 days together in an imitation spaceship. The experiment aims to simulate the routine for a group of astronauts on a journey to the planet Mars.

This week's questions

How big is the planet Mars?

a: bigger than Earth

b: smaller than Earth

c: about the same size as Earth

Listen for the answer in the programme.


Journey to Mars


a warehouse

a large building used for storing things

an imitation spacecraft

not a real spacecraft but a structure designed, in this experiment, to look like one from the inside

to cope (with something)

to be able mentally to manage a difficult problem or situation

Many people would find it very difficult to cope with being stuck in a small space with the same people for such a long time.

routine maintenance

small jobs and tasks that have to be done regularly to keep something working properly

Carrying out routine maintenance on your car will help to extend its working life.

a long-haul flight

a long distance journey by plane

a sand-pit

a special area filed with sand, usually a place for children to play in


the fear of being in a small space which you can't easily get out of

an ordeal

a difficult or painful experience which goes on for a long time

to boost

to improve something and make it more successful

If the experiment is successful it should boost hopes of a real mission to Mars.

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