Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Mars NASA

Will Living On Mars Drive Us Crazy? 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the can't-you-hear-them?-didn't-you-see-the-crowd? dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "When astronauts first began flying in space, NASA worried about 'space madness,' a mental malady they thought might arise from humans experiencing microgravity and claustrophobic isolation inside of a cramped spacecraft high above the Earth. Now Megan Garber writes in The Atlantic that NASA is hoping to find out what life on Mars does to the human emotional state by putting three men and three women in a 1,000-square-foot habitat shaped like a dome for four months. The volunteers in the second HI-SEAS mission — a purposely tiny group selected out of a group of 700 applicants — include, among others, a neuropsychologist, an aerospace engineer, and an Air Force veteran who is studying human factors in aviation. 'We're going to stress them,' says Kim Binsted, the project's principal investigator. 'That's the nature of the study.' That test involves isolating the crew in the same way they'd be isolated on Mars. The only communication they'll be allowed with the outside world—that is to say, with their family and friends—will be conducted through email. (And that will be given an artificial delay of 20 minutes to simulate the lag involved in Mars-to-Earth communications.)

If that doesn't seem too stressful, here's another source of stress: Each mission member will get only eight minutes of shower time ... per week. The stress will be compounded by the fact that the only time the crew will be able to leave their habitat-yurt is when they're wearing puffy, insulated uniforms that simulate space suits. In the Hawaiian heat. Throughout the mission, researchers will be testing the subjects' moods and the changes they exhibit in their relationships with each other. They'll also be examining the crew members' cognitive skills, seeing whether—and how—they change as the experiment wears on. Binsted says the mission has gotten the attention of the TV world but don't expect to see much inside-the-dome footage. 'You wouldn't believe the number of producers who called us,' says Binsted. 'Fortunately, we're not ethically allowed to subject our crew to that kind of thing.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Will Living On Mars Drive Us Crazy?

Comments Filter:
  • No (Score:4, Funny)

    by korbulon (2792438) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:07AM (#46659699)

    But it will turn us into thrrrrice-breasted mutants.

    Get yoo ass to Mahs.

    • But it will turn us into thrrrrice-breasted mutants.

      So... we're gonna need a bigger motorboat?

      Dude, what happened to your face?
      Nipple based dermabrasion!

  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:11AM (#46659711)
    I don't see how that would be different from living here.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:19AM (#46659745)

      I don't see how that would be different from living here.

      On Earth, you coworkers don't shower by choice. In there, they don't shower by law.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Do you need more than 8 min/week of shower for cleanliness? I'd guess 10 second is enough to spray water on the whole body, and 20 seconds suffice to remove soap. The suggested length doesn't sound too harsh.

        • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday April 04, 2014 @09:12AM (#46660091)

          Speaking for myself showering isn't as much as cleanliness but as a form of relaxing. Getting clean is a positive side effect.

          So 8 Minutes a week would add stress to my life, just because I would need to sacrifice one of my activities that makes me feel better.

        • Depends what your lifestyle and climate are like. If you're a hunter-gatherer living next to a waterfall in Hawaii, you might take a rinse every few days just for fun, but you would seldom "need" a shower. If you're living in a "tuna can" with three other people, taking daily outdoor excursions wearing a "moon suit" in Hawaii, things are going to start getting ripe pretty rapidly.

          I imagine they will combat this tendency with daily sponge baths, etc.. One has to wonder how effective this would be. OTOH, they

        • by nospam007 (722110) *

          "Do you need more than 8 min/week of shower for cleanliness? I'd guess 10 second is enough to spray water on the whole body, and 20 seconds suffice to remove soap. The suggested length doesn't sound too harsh."

          You know there' a thing called female astronauts?

          • Male astronauts should give their shower time to female astronauts. The women enjoy the extra bathing and maybe have enough for a bath, and the men don't mind not showering anyway. You're welcome, NASA.
      • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday April 04, 2014 @01:02PM (#46662241)

        On Earth, you coworkers don't shower by choice. In there, they don't shower by law.

        I have spent months on navy ships where fresh water use was extremely restricted. We would go weeks without a shower. Every few days we would rinse our armpits, face and groin. When we were finally allowed to shower, it was for less than one minute, not an eight minute Hollywood shower [wikipedia.org]. The toilets use salt water, which they won't have on Mars. We had a LOT less than 1000 sqft for every six people. We had some crazy people, but they were already crazy when we boarded, and the close quarters confinement didn't seem to make them worse.

        This study seems silly to me. There are plenty of people (submariners, sailors, prisoners, etc.) that live in much more restricted conditions. So they could just look at them rather than recreating the conditions.

    • nature has provided us with a cheap, non-addictive treatment for this kind of thing...

      it's called Marijuana

      let's work it into the mission plan....

      for fans of sci-fi, you'll remember the Mars colonists in K.S. Robinson's Mars Trilogy drank a Kava/hash drink that had the same effect

      • Reefer Madness!
  • In the heat... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:13AM (#46659713)

    Wouldn't mars be frostbitingly COLD though?

    • Re:In the heat... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:55AM (#46659951) Journal

      Wouldn't mars be frostbitingly COLD though?

      Depends. Mar's nominal temperature ranges from 'cold' to 'really cold, some of the ice is frozen carbon dioxide, some of it might be water'; but it also has a pretty tenuous(maximum is something like 1% of earth's, lower as you go higher) atmosphere, so heat transfer by direct conduction and convection would be weaker than you'd expect for earth(though greater than in orbit, where those basically aren't factors at all, and where you don't have the option of using the ground as a heatsink).

      It wouldn't be as bad as orbit(where the nominal temperature is also damn low; but where being cooked alive because you've got nothing but black-body radiation to shed heat from your metabolic processes and suit hardware is the bigger potential danger); but the nominally freezing atmosphere would still cool you much less well than experience on earth would lead you to expect. I don't know exactly what sort of in-suit climate control the people who actually know this stuff properly estimate you'd need, and how much of the time it would be warming you, and how much active-cooling you.

      Barring nontrivial advances, though, it would probably still be more suit than you really want to wear in a gravity well(even a fairly weak one), and the need to be gas-tight would presumably make it even more obnoxious than just the weight.

      • by khallow (566160)
        I work with a group that does high altitude experimental unmanned balloon launches to 100k feet (about 30 km). The air pressure up there is 1% of Earth's. You do have to worry about heat dissipation up there for precisely the above reason.

        Another reason not to count on atmosphere convection to cool you is because Mars's atmosphere varies a lot in pressure dependent on season and elevation. You only get 1% pressure at the lowest and warmest locations (in other words, the best conditions) on Mars.
      • It wouldn't be as bad as orbit(where the nominal temperature is also damn low; but where being cooked alive because you've got nothing but black-body radiation to shed heat from your metabolic processes

        Actually, being on Mar's surface is worse than being on orbit. On orbit, you can use evaporation to carry away heat (radiation is a minor component). On the surface, the atmosphere is *just* thick enough to screw up evaporation cooling but not thick enough to enable pure convective/conductive cooling.

        • If you are willing to sacrifice the coolant, an atmosphere as feeble as Mars' shouldn't stop evaporative cooling (even on Earth, evaporative cooling with water works just fine in less humid regions), except possibly under the coldest conditions(if there is solid carbon dioxide on the ground, and still almost no atmosphere, you know you've found an unusually dramatic demonstration of the relationship between temperature and vapor pressure...) I'd imagine that the bigger issue would be finding something that
          • If you are willing to sacrifice the coolant, an atmosphere as feeble as Mars' shouldn't stop evaporative cooling

            They've been using water as a sacrificial coolant for decades, the problem on the Martian surface (as opposed to on orbit) is the evaporation rate (and thus the heat carried away) is slowed just enough to require increasing the surface area of the evaporator to inconvenient dimensions. The physical effort expended in working in a space suit produces a lot of heat - and the suits are very well ins

            • So it sounds like what we'd need is some kind of closed loop inside the suit that can plug into a massive buried system that uses the ground as a heatsink, letting personnel dump waste heat into the ground.

              • That's not much help when your rover is 10km from base.

                Seriously, there's so much that's damn difficult about Martian exploration that we *know* we don't know.... that I can't help but laugh when people like Elon Musk or Mars One proposes doing it on the cheap and on a short timeline.

                • Probably the best test is to try and build a bigass low pressure container and fill it with the closest thing we can make to martian soil.

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:14AM (#46659715)

    'You wouldn't believe the number of producers who called us,' says Binsted. 'Fortunately, we're not ethically allowed to subject our crew to that kind of thing.'"

    Might want to pull back the macroscopic lens there chief before you drown in the irony of the fact that you're conducting this very experiment in order for us to send people on a one-way trip to Mars.

    I think we've already established the fact that ethics in this discussion is questionable at best, and should be of little concern. How about you ask those you're torturing if they'd like to have a million-dollar payday in a few months from said producers. You might just be surprised that the answers are not as ethical as you thought.

    • by amiga3D (567632) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:28AM (#46659785)

      Personally I think it'd make a really interesting reality show. In fact, they could fund the Mars trip like that. Sell the entire thing to the Discovery Channel. Survivor with real consequences.

      • by qwijibo (101731) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:41AM (#46659853)

        Great, so there would be people who left earth forever only to get voted off of mars.

      • by kcitren (72383)
        You mean like Mars One is planning? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]
      • So when you get voted off the island, they airlock you? Hmmm...

      • ersonally I think it'd make a really interesting reality show. In fact, they could fund the Mars trip like that.

        A global hit on the scale of Dr Who would only barely pay the interest and a bit of the principal. You'd need global income on the scale of the Olympics to take a serious bite out of the principal - and you'd need that income for the better part of a decade. Not happening.

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          What do you figure a real Mars mission would cost? I figure somewhere from $20-30 billion dollars. Not a lot of money compared to what they spend on some bullshit. You're right though, I don't think a television show could do it by itself.

      • Except it wouldn't be. It wouldn't be articulate explanations of their situation, maybe current reserves of food, water, and air, nor of any meaningful footage of construction, exploration, or scientific progress.

        What it would be the glorification of one person's feelings being hurt because of another and, since you suggested it, a mouthy, annoying narrator who'll do recap and promos and puns and more recaps and commercial teasers and more puns and re-explaining what the people on the show just fucking said

    • Ethics, shmethics this is about getting a large government grant on a tropical island and they don't want the world to know when the scientists sneak off to the tiki bar. /halfjoke

    • The problem with 'producers'/'TV'/'Reality show' is that they have an intense interest in getting the most emotionally-salient material possible, then publicising it as widely as possible.

      Actual one way trip to Mars? Given how many people, even one with pretty good options by Earth standards, would line up to volunteer, I'm not sure the ethical problems would keep me awake at night. Everybody dies, a great many of them less pleasantly than even likely Martian failure scenarios, and often after lives rat
    • I would consider it very ethical from you if build the ship and teach me piloting it that will bring ME for THE REST OF MY LIFE to mars. I don't see anything unethically there.

    • you're conducting this very experiment in order for us to send people on a one-way trip to Mars.

      You must be confusing this with the Mars-One project. TFA is a NASA project. There are no "one-way tickets" here.

    • As long as they're volunteers (which they almost surely are) and know they're not coming back, I don't see much of an ethical problem.

    • by hodet (620484)

      I read that article and the comments (was it yesterday or the day before???) and I just don't see sending people to Mars as unethical. Astronauts are sentient beings with free will. They choose to do this just like ancient explorers chose the unknown horizon of the sea. Who knows they may colonize and adapt and will push humankind further. They choose to go, and for the type of personality that would even consider going to Mars, they live for this type of adventure. Now we should debate the economics p

      • by hodet (620484)

        woops, probably misinterpreted what you said. Rereading, I think you said ethics are of little concern. Anyhoo..... back to work. :-)

    • ...

      Might want to pull back the macroscopic lens there chief before you drown in the irony of the fact that you're conducting this very experiment in order for us to send people on a one-way trip to Mars.

      ...

      No, they aren't. The Hi-SEAS project is sponsored by NASA and NASA is not proposing any (deliberate) one-way missions. If it is infeasible to develop a means to return humans landed on Mars this simply means that NASA won't mount such a mission, period. (A humans-in-Mars-orbit teleoperating robots with no time delay on the surface would still be possible.)

      Did you see the item about the NASA deep space mission hazard study posted here a couple of days ago? I read it, and they are talking about missions wher

  • by Maury Markowitz (452832) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:18AM (#46659733) Homepage

    The Navy's been doing this for years, I find it difficult to understand why mixing in microgravity will suddenly make people go nuts.

    • "Space madness" sounds about as plausible as "female hysteria" to me.

      From the summary, it sounds like they're adding very little if anything to simulate Mars *specifically.* Haven't they even been doing these experiments to target space for, like, decades? What's special about this one other than slapping a "MARS!!!1!" buzzword on it?

  • Not that one data point is enough but hasn't this been done before? http://www.wired.com/2011/10/f... [wired.com] So now we're in a space race with the Russians to... stay secluded on Earth the longest?
  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:27AM (#46659781) Journal

    "...The stress will be compounded by the fact that the only time the crew will be able to leave their habitat-yurt is when they're wearing puffy, insulated uniforms that simulate space suits..."

    Seriously, they're doing this in HAWAII?

    That quote above is pretty much normal life for 6 months every year in MN...he said, looking out the window at 10" of new snow on April 4.

    I'm only 80% joking. I kind of wonder if the people from here (and northward into America's hat) would be just psychologically better prepared for this sort of thing from a lifetime of having great chunks of your year sequestered inside.

    • You poor devil! How about submariners, who spend months at a time in cramped, crowded conditions?

      Some individuals would be better suited to the task of off-planet settlement than others, and if the colony is given a proper chance for survival, they will breed and and nature will select for these characteristics.

      • You poor devil! How about submariners, who spend months at a time in cramped, crowded conditions?

        A strategic ballistic missile sub cruise is 3 months.

        A mission to Mars lasts about 3 years.

        Big difference.

    • Hawaii is volcanic. The volcanoes are high, so you have to deal with a thin atmosphere. Unlike the arctic, you get more of a 12 hour dark/light cycle. These are all closer to Mars conditions than anywhere else you can find on Earth. You are going to land on Mars nearer the equator than the poles. But, of course, Hawaii is much hotter than Mars.
    • "...The stress will be compounded by the fact that the only time the crew will be able to leave their habitat-yurt is when they're wearing puffy, insulated uniforms that simulate space suits..."

      Seriously, they're doing this in HAWAII?

      I think it might be slightly _more_ maddening, being on top of the mountain in the crappy thin air, knowing what's just a jeep ride away, but you're not allowed to go....

      The thing that makes it a non-comparison is that you eventually will be allowed to, or just break the rules and, go... in the little tin box with nothing but death on the other side of the door and no possible escape.... that's hard to get an accurate psychological simulation of.

    • by Chelloveck (14643)

      This same experiment has been tried before in Siberia, Greenland, and other more Martian-like environments. Seriously, I think the scientists just found an excuse to get a four-month paid vacation in Hawaii.

      Experiment notes, day 112: Checked on subjects. Nope, not crazy yet. Spending rest of day at beach, will check again tomorrow.

    • by Sarius64 (880298)
      There are MANY communities within the U.S. Military that live this type of life for extended periods of time. Heck crews in Alaska and Norway do spend more than six months inside in the remote areas.
    • by argStyopa (232550)

      FWIW I was only about 50 miles south of Tower MN when they hit -60F (-51C) and was outside a fair amount of the time that evening.

      Honestly, from the POV of a northern MN resident, there isn't THAT much difference in feeling between -50C and -35C (unless there's wind), and the fact that I can say that authoritatively would already suggest that I'm a giant step more psychologically capable of accepting a martian equatorial climate of +20C down to maybe -20C, than is some mamby-pamby Californian or Floridian.

  • ...is the longer Martian day (sol). What will that extra 1/2 hour (approximately) do to a species evolved for a shorter day? I suspect this will be another source of stress, especially as "interplanetary" communications schedules will fall in and out of step with sleep schedule.
    • That would probably inconvenience the rugged outdoorsman of future-hypothetical-terraformed-Mars; but given that going 'outside' isn't really an option (you aren't necessarily in a building at all times; but you'll be wearing a fully sealed suit with atmospheric and probably thermal conditioning hardware, if you aren't indoors) it seems that just syncing the interior lighting to suit human preferences(presumably with the ability to voluntarily override at least outside of common areas and such, by hitting t
    • The people will do better on Mars, synching with earth might be more a problem. After all we are not evolved to a 24h day but to a 26h to 28h day. Hence so many people have sleeping problems.

  • by fullback (968784) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:33AM (#46659803)

    Millions of people live like that now in Tokyo. No big deal.
    You can't even let the water run while brushing your teeth.

  • Each mission member will get only eight minutes of shower time

    So? Just pick 6 other people from the mission and shower with them. Viola, 8 minute shower every day.

    Plus, you'll always have someone to scrub your back.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Plus, you'll always have someone to scrub your back.

      As long as you pick up the soap.

  • Submarines? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:33AM (#46659807) Homepage
    Aside from the number of people being smaller, this does't seem that different from a tour of duty on a nuclear submarine. Three months is normal for that. Having little time to shower is a minor stress which could easily apply to almost any military duty, and submarines are again in that category. Moreover, submarine showers are disgusting. At least with a Mars mission you won't have the constant movement and shaking. And they don't get the regular email contact because they are underwater. http://www.cracked.com/article_20871_6-things-movies-dont-show-you-about-life-submarine.html [cracked.com] discusses some of the many unpleasant things about subs. It seems like the people who are worried about the "human factors" are massively overestimating what conditions human minds can actually cope with, and it seems they also aren't doing a good job looking at counterexamples to their worries. This shouldn't be that surprising though: Robert Zubrin in his excellent book "Case for Mars" argued that a large part of the medical and psychological research to see if humans could handle a trip to Mars was more excuses for grant funding than serious concerns.
    • Moreover, submarine showers are disgusting.

      True enough. Having eight minutes of water for a shower is considered a luxury on one of the boats.

      Try "turn water on long enough to get wet. soap up. turn water on long enough to rinse (note that it takes longer than that to get the water to come out hot). Done."

      • I always wondered about that bit from Hunt For Red October (the book) about "Hollywood showers" -- a 30-minute extravaganza the skipper would occasionally allow as a reward for excellent performance. Is that common? I only know one guy who served on a sub (he was a nuke), but they didn't do that on his boat.

        • Yes, the "Hollywood Shower" was a real thing in the boats.

          Though the phrase was more often a disparagement used for people who let the water run long enough to get hot before getting in the shower....

  • Anyone else worried that Pauly Shore will accidentally wander into the testing facility before it closes up?!?!
    • by Minwee (522556)
      Fortunately, they're not ethically allowed to subject their crew to that kind of thing.
  • by robmv (855035)

    Will their lives be in danger every second, simulating a real hostile world with a the delay to save them taking months to arrive? If that isn't simulated I don't see them being stressed enough to get some kind of madness, living in closed quarters is not enough to make people go crazy

  • If we don't wipe ourselves off this planet first, then maybe colonization on Mars is possible but you have to definite what living is on a planet with extremely hostile conditions. Yeah they'll be living in a habitat but without it they won't be able to survive. I guess it would be akin to the research teams at the South Pole working isolation and cut off for months at a time from any chance of resupply or exodus but from time to time at least they can go outside with less life support than if they were i

  • Catch 22 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hillgiant (916436) on Friday April 04, 2014 @08:46AM (#46659887)

    You have to be crazy to go. If you are crazy, they won't send you.

  • Didn't they do some experiment like that in Russia or something? Locked some people into a confined space for several months, without any real contact with the world outside. Or was it only on the planning stage? I don't remember.

  • At least until they start opening a few 7/11's up there.

    Can you imagine not being able to step out on a Thursday night for a microwave pizza puff, pack of smokes and a 2-liter Orange Crush?

    Talk about driving somebody crazy...

  • Do you want Reavers? Because that's how you get Reavers.
  • + the post poking fun that they're doing this in Hawaii. I was immediately struck by the fact that the main part of the isolation is the realization that NO HELP CAN COME, and I AM STUCK HERE WITH THESE IDIOTS and I WILL DIE IF I GO OUTSIDE UNPROTECTED am wondering if they did this on the antartic, that might better simulate those more real impacts. I was going to write that the Europeans colonizing the Americas or Austrailia 400 years was a parallel, but it's not. Yes, help was delayed, and yes the outs
  • Oh my beloved ice-cream bar! How I love to lick thy creamy center!

  • Living on earth is enough to drive me crazy, let alone Mars.
  • In all seriousness, this isn't a personal hygene snark, I don't see how 8 minutes showering a week could be considered such a massive hardship.

    Say you shower every second day, you're not going to be the freshest thing on Mars, but you'll not stink that bad. So that gives you a little over two and a quarter minutes to get a wash. No time to luxuriate. But plenty time to get clean if you get on with it.

  • It is not I who am crazy... IT IS I WHO AM MAD!

  • Three men, three women, not much to do. Watch what happens with their mode and relationships.
    Will there be a Ross and a Rachel on the mission?
    Wait... The puffy shirt was on Seinfeld!
  • Participants will be euthanized at the end of the "experiment". That's essentially what a one-way mission to Mars is, the worlds most expensive euthanasia program.
  • Seeing posts by Hugh Pickets will.

  • Probably not.

    Why?

    Because living on earth has ALREADY driven us crazy.

    So it's a case of "wherever you go, there you are".

    Now let us spread our nuts to the universe!

  • We'll have thousands of potential colonists who can exist in that environment for months.

  • If only there were documented cases of people living in confined, isolated conditions in, I dunno, research bases in the Antarctic, prisons, hospitals, tin cans under the sea for weeks at a time, or even tin cans in low Earth orbit... then we could learn all about the effects of isolation and cramped conditions.

    Now, I'm full of the Wrong Stuff, and won't be volunteering to go to Mars anytime soon... but if I did, I suspect it would be because, whatever the discomforts and dangers, you got to explore stran

  • 'Fortunately, we're not ethically allowed to subject our crew to that kind of thing.'"
    But Fox made a reality game show exactly like this except worse. It's called Solitary.
  • 'You wouldn't believe the number of producers who called us,' says Binsted. 'Fortunately, we're not ethically allowed to subject our crew to that kind of thing.'"

    Isn't it sort of an indictment of our culture that we do something for casual entertainment that we would never allow ourselves to do for the purposes of advancing human scientific knowledge?

  • Are they going to have Mars sex? Oh wait:

    Each mission member will get only eight minutes of shower time ... per week.

    Hmm.. well, the cave people reproduced..

  • Wouldn't the most critical component for the psyche be that you are on Mars? No calling off the experiment, no where to run. In the experiment, the participants will know in the back of their minds that if something goes terribly wrong, they will get pulled out or rescued.
  • Sounds like a good opportunity to utilize the Oculus Rift. Trick the brain into thinking they are on a beach on Earth for a few hours. Have custom programs within a virtual environment. It would be almost like Holodeck v.1.0. (now, let the Oculus/Facebook jokes commence)
  • Antarctica (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wired_parrot (768394) on Friday April 04, 2014 @01:33PM (#46662603)

    How is this different from winter over expeditions in the South Pole, where you have a small group of people, isolated in a dome from the rest of the globe, and only able to leave their dome through puffy bulky suits.

    And in fact. winter time expeditions at South Pole station are a better representation of Mars would be: they are effectively isolated, with the potential of any minor equipment malfunction turning into a life-or-death issue in the harsh Antarctic winter, dependent only on their own supplies. I doubt these NASA volunteers staying in a balmy hawaiian island will have to worry much if a medical problem or equipment malfunction occurs.

  • by YoungManKlaus (2773165) on Friday April 04, 2014 @05:48PM (#46665263)

    I distinctly remember experiments like this being conduced already ages ago, iirc under russian lead, but with pretty much exactly the same setup (including communication delay).

In every non-trivial program there is at least one bug.

Working...