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VIDEO: After 520 Days, 'Astronauts' Emerge Following Fake Mars Mission

Fast-forward to about the 3-minute mark in this video if you want to see the moment when six men who had lived together in a mock spaceship for 18 months emerged today in Moscow.

As Eyder wrote Thursday, the "$15 million project, dubbed Mars500, is a serious experiment commissioned by the European Space Agency" designed to see how humans would do on an 18-month journey to Mars.

According to the ESA, the international crew of three Russians, two Europeans and one Chinese:

"Performed exceptionally well. They have kept together and showed that motivation and team spirit can keep humans going under very difficult conditions. Scientists are pleased at their exceptional discipline."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.