People Practice For Life On Mars In The Utah Desert

May 14, 2015 By Christi Mulligan
Off in the Utah desert, near a town called Hanksville, there is a research vessel called the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS). Here, researchers, college students and astronaut candidates for the Mars One project are all studying what living on the red planet might really be like.

The Mars Society is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to exploration and eventual human settlement on Mars. The group selected the American Southwest for the facility's location because both the soil and vegetation (the lack of it) were similar to Mars. Groups are on the MDRS for two weeks each, and study aspects such as 3-D printing and different efficiency ideas for the eventual settlement. Most of the simulations require the participants to suspend their disbelief and imagine they are on Mars.

The main issues with living on Mars are as follows: dangerous levels of radiation, no oxygen, no running water, differences in gravitational forces (Mars has 63 percent less gravity than Earth, so a person who weighs 100 pounds on Earth would weigh just 38 pounds on Mars), and freezing temperatures. There are many obstacles, but this research is the first of its kind to take humans one step closer to the possibility.
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