The simulated Russian Mars mission, Mars 500 ended, today. The six researchers who were locked in a fake, horrendously wood-paneled spaceship for 520 days are now free. How was it?

"I actually thought that it would be harder and more stressful for me, and I was surprised how smoothly it went," Alexey Sitev, the Russian team leader, said, according to the AP.

The researchers, each of whom were paid $100,000 did a bunch of science experiments, played video games, watched DVDs, and went on Facebook. (They had the internet but it was delayed to simulate conditions in space, since in space they only have dial-up.) I couldn't find it in any reports, but I imagine at least half of them planned to write a novel while on the year-and-a-half mission and spent many days writing first chapters about men being trapped inside dark rooms, then deleting them in a huff.

[Image via AP]