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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Striking Photos From The Mars Colony In Utah's Desert

Some desert areas in Utah look like the could be from another planet and, indeed, our terrain has stood in for alien landscape in many moves – from the Planet Vulcan to John Carter's Mars to the Planet of the Apes.

Some areas have also been used in scientific research exploring what it might be light to colonize other planets. An ongoing project has volunteers living in a simulated Mars colony in the desert outside of Hanksville, near Lake Powell in southern Utah.

The simulation has made news and been featured in this blog before and probably will be again. We're drawing your attention to in now because they have released a bunch of striking photos showing activity as the crew lives in the “space colony” and explores the nearby alien terrain.

Many newspapers and magazines are publishing articles that include the photos. The UK's Daily Mail has this article, which includes more photos than any other I perused. The photos are worth viewing.

Below are excerpts from the article. The comments at the end of the article are also worth reading.

The project is called the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), a simulated off-world habitat that serves as a test site for field operations in preparation for future human missions to Mars.

All outdoor exploration is done wearing simulated spacesuits and carrying air supply packs and crews live together in a small communication base with carefully rationed essentials - everything needed to survive must be produced, fixed and replaced on-site.

Each crew spends between two weeks and a month living in a habitat unit, performing the kind of work astronauts will be expected to carry out on Mars, such as collecting rock samples from the surface and examining them back in the habitat, conducting life science experiments and studying the local geology and geomorphology.

The Utah site is one of two operated by the Mars Society as part of its Mars Analog Research Station (MARS) project. The other site is located in the Canadian Arctic, with two more planned for the Australian outback and Iceland.

These locations were chosen because some environmental conditions, geologic features or biological attributes may be similar to those thought to be encountered on Mars.

The MDRS website says: “'Offering profound enlightenment to our science, inspiration and purpose to our youth, and a potentially unbounded future for our posterity, the challenge of Mars is one that we must embrace.”


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