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Sleep problems could jeopardise future missions to Mars


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Some of the first results from a simulation of a mission to Mars show that some of the crew experienced isolation and mild depression.


Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests differences in the sleep patterns of the crew caused problems.


The findings suggest that not all current astronauts will be suited to interplanetary travel.


The Mars500 project investigated how crews would cope on a real mission.


Prof Mathias Basner, of the University of Pennsylvania - who was involved in the sleep study - says that the findings show that astronauts for any future Mars missions should be tested for their ability to cope without a natural day/night cycle.


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