MOSCOW (AFP) - Six volunteers Friday will emerge blinking into the outside world after spending almost one-and-a-half-years in isolation at a Russian research centre to test the effects on humans of a flight to Mars. The six men, who have spent 520 days in a capsule in a car park outside the Moscow institute, will at 1000 GMT open the hatch of their module that slammed shut on June 3, 2010, before being taken for a barrage of medical tests. The experiment simulated blast off in June last year and landing on Mars in February, with volunteers carrying out spacewalks in full space gear in a sand-filled enclosure before setting off on the long journey back to Earth. "I think they're in a period of expectation," said Mark Belakovsky, the project's deputy director, said Tuesday. I would say the guys have a very positive mood. They know that they have done something really big." The all-male team is made up of three Russians, two doctors and one engineer; a Chinese astronaut trainer; and French and Italian engineers, who were sent by the European Space Agency. "Spending 520 days with people from different groups, different nationalities, different mentalities is not simple at all. They have behaved very worthily," Belakovsky told AFP. The project has prompted some ridicule for its earth-bound nature, without the weightlessness of a real flight.