Six astronauts take long trip to nowhere

Six fearless, intrepid adventurers have embarked on a space mission where they will travel the awe-inspiring distance of 0,000,000,000.00 miles.

The six heroes will spend 520 days living in a capsule inside a hangar in Moscow where they will have no access to the outside world other than through time delayed email in a bid to simulate life on a trip Mars.  It was originally planned to replicate the experience of being thousands of miles from civilization in an environment devoid of both atmosphere and intelligent life by renting a flat in Croydon, however this was deemed too cruel.

Many of the crew have left wives behind, with, ahem, ‘Captain’ Alexei Sitev married only weeks before take-off.  It was decided that the mission would be male only after a similar experiment ended with a brawl between two men after one of them tried to kiss a female crew member while celebrating New Year with some space-vodka.

The crew will have access to onboard entertainment such as books, language study and 3D video games to pass the time, though like most of those in long term unemployment it is expected that they much of their 520 days just waking up at 1pm to watch re-runs of Murder She Wrote and Cagney and Lacey.  

Though the whole idea may seem vaguely ridiculous considering the fact that there are submarine crews, prisoners and so on replicating roughly the same effects every day it is clear the voyage is being viewed with the utmost seriousness.

“This isn’t a joke. It will give a lot of useful information, not just about Mars but also for Earth,” said Dr Christer Fuglesang, somehow able to avoid breaking into hysterical laughing.

Meanwhile ‘astronaut’ Wang Yeu said: “When people say this is a simulation, that it isn’t a matter of life and death, I tell them it’s much more. It’s the future of mankind.”