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Mars Mission Keeps Busy Playing...Counter-Strike

Illustration for article titled Mars Mission Keeps Busy Playing...emCounter-Strike/em

As part of a study before people are actually sent to Mars, a team of volunteers spent 520 days locked inside a fake spaceship. To see if they could all stay alive and not, you know, kill each other.


It was mission success, as the six men - three from Russia and one each from China, Italy and France - emerged the other day safe and sound. So how'd they get along and not die of boredom?


According to 32 year-old participant Alexander Smoleyevsky, whenever tensions threatened to boil over between the men, they'd all settle in for a few rounds of Counter-Strike.


Which only shows these were unique men, blessed with the patience required for the epic voyage for Mars. I mean, put me up against a camper and a cheat for 17 months and I won't just get upset, I'll kill them with my bare hands.

UPDATE 1-'Mars crew' played Counter-Strike to cool tempers [Reuters]

You can contact Luke Plunkett, the author of this post, at You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

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I spent a few months in a wilderness therapy program when I was 16 (Second Nature Utah, if anyone out there has done something similar), and my group's lead therapist, who was also one of the founders of the program, actually used the fact that I played Counterstrike as a way to start building a therapeutic relationship when I was doing everything I could to tell him to stretch his lips all the way down to his beltline and literally fuck his own face off.

Apparently, in the 2N Uintas program home offices in Duschene, Utah, some of the IT people put together a CS map that exactly replicated their office building and its immediate surroundings, and it's what the leadership team would play while blowing off steam or discussing particular cases. And that's how a man who specializes in clinical therapy with teens showing particularly defiant or oppositional behavior gets some asshole kid who thinks he's the center of the Earth to open up about his problems with self-destructive and isolating behaviors.

Not sure why this made me think about that. I guess there's just something inherently cathartic about firing hundreds of rounds into a virtual world (especially one made to look like your office), whether you're a therapist dealing with kids or an astronaut in a fake spaceship arguing with the damn Russians again about how yes, we share all the food, but that had my name on it, dammit, and I wanted to finish it.

Anyway, I should shoot that guy an email, let him know how I'm doing.