After eight months in isolation, a group of six international researchers on a mock mission to Mars are preparing to walk on a simulation of the surface of the planet Mars.
The volunteers -- three Russians, a Frenchman, an Italian, and a Chinese -- were locked into a mock spaceship at a Moscow research center last June.
Today, three are scheduled to plant the national flags of Russia, China and the European Space Agency on a mock-up of Mars.
The aim of the mission -- which will last 520 days -- is to test how humans would respond to the pressures of the long journey to Mars.
compiled from agency reports