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Associated Press Visits MDRS in Utah

3 May 2015, 02:12 UTC
Associated Press Visits MDRS in Utah
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Remote Utah Outpost Serves as Stand-in for Surface of MarsBy Brady McCombs, Associated Press, 05.01.15HANKSVILLE, Utah (AP) — Four people wearing space helmets and square backpacks emerge from a circular structure resembling a water tank and step onto a reddish, barren landscape.One hikes up a hill to take magnetic readings of the ground with a rectangular apparatus that looks like a large leveling tool. Another pushes a wheelbarrow equipped with sensors arrayed in a zig-zag pattern.For a group of six Belgian college students, it's just another simulated day on Mars.This rocky corner of Utah bears such a resemblance to the red planet that it's become a hot spot for scientists and engineers to run imaginary missions to Earth's neighbor. They've been coming here for more than a decade, hoping their research someday helps put humans on the Martian surface.This site and others that allow crews to mimic interplanetary missions are helping to raise buzz about Mars to an all-time high as advancements in science and engineering convince space enthusiasts that the 140-million-mile trip is a realistic possibility in this century.The research center is run by the nonprofit Mars Society, an advocacy group that believes getting people to Mars to be ...

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