The Mars Society regrets to
announce the loss of the Mars Desert Research Station’s Fisher GreenHab to an
accidental fire yesterday afternoon (Dec. 29th). There were no injuries to Crew 146, the four-person team currently using the MDRS facility outside Hanksville, Utah.
According to a Mars Society spokesperson,
the Habitat, which includes crew work stations and living quarters, did not
sustain any damage, with the fire being limited to the GreenHab. Following MDRS
emergency guidelines, crew members were able to safely put out the fire.
The Fisher GreenHab was the
second GreenHab built at the Utah station. An earlier prototype structure was
lost during the first MDRS field season due to heavy winds. It served as a
model for the second generation GreenHab, a larger and more permanent unit built
by Gary Fisher in 2003.
For five seasons, the
facility functioned as an experimental closed loop water recycling system, but
testing ceased when it was concluded that the system was too small to
maintain the Habitat with six full-time crew members.
In 2009 the GreenHab was
refitted for use as a greenhouse. Under the direction of GreenHab Coordinator
Nick Orenstein, ...