The Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), the largest and longest-running Mars analog program in the world, welcomed a special Mars Academy USA (MAU) crew to its campus last weekend to begin an historic dual habitat simulation.
For this mission, one crew will operate the MDRS, while a second crew will operate the MAU habitat, which consists of a series of interlocking geometric tents that house crew quarters and a research area. The crew is made up of medical professionals and will be testing how two crews on the same planet would collaborate on emergency medical procedures.
Located in southern Utah, MDRS serves
as a home base for crews participating in Mars surface simulation testing. Depending
on the individual crew’s specialization, its scientific focus could range from
geology to engineering, communications to human factors, robotics to
microbiology. A wide variety of scientific and engineering research and
educational outreach are typically carried out by crews at MDRS.
The newly-arrived MAU participants
(designated as Crew 220) have set up their temporary second habitat close to
MDRS, with part of the crew staying at the MDRS facility, while an additional
crew is housed in the MAU-developed habitat approximately half a ...