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Mars on Earth-The incredible experiment on Devon Island a.k.a. Mars 2!

Updated on February 9, 2013

More info about the project

Mars on Earth

Devon Island, Canada. 1600 km from the North Pole. Scientist Pascal Lee and his team have come to this place, the Haughton Crater, to field-test various equipment and device designs for the future use on Mars.

Scientists and astronauts have long been interested in travelling to the Red Planet, but its extreme distance and harsh atmosphere have created a number of challenges. The surface is freezing cold and the terrain is covered with deep craters so it’s difficult to land on its rugged surface. Moreover, the atmosphere is filled with poisonous radiation and dust storms often occur. These barriers not with standing, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), anticipates having a person on Mars by 2037.

Thirty-nine million years ago, Devon Island was hit by a large meteorite that created a 20-kilometre-wide crater. Today, it’s called Haughton Crater and it almost exactly resembles the thousands of craters that cover the landscape of Mars.

In the Haughton Crater (because of the very similar features), a group of people are here for several months with the purpose of training and learning how to live and work on Mars. They all share one common desire: to formulate support systems for travel to Mars.

When some people think of Mars, they think of astronauts in space suits. Here Lee and his team are, in fact, field-testing the NASA Mars Concept Suit to see how it withstands harsh conditions. NASA needs firm empirical evidence that says the suit is safe in order to diminish concerns when using it in space. The suit is big, bulky and, according to people who have tried it, uncomfortable and constricting. Eh, space isn’t a sleep-over party, is it? The suit need to be extremely strong, reliable and easily repaired in order to survive for the entire duration of the trip.

Another project is to fill the red planet with life. Scientists believe that growing plants on Mars could be possible. A Canadian scientist, Alain Berinstein is attempting to grow them in the Mars-like conditions of the Devon Island. He’s doing this by working on a computer-controlled greenhouse that simulates the scenario of growing plants on Mars. In the greenhouse there’s a hybrid wind and solar power generation system that charges a bank of batteries, and now it has its own independent power system in place.

The researchers also testing another new piece of equipment called the ’Thinking Mars Aeroplane’.This robotic plane serves as an advanced scout, designed to search and photograph areas of interes. No pilot flies with this plane, it thinks itself.

Another great invention is the ’Martian Rover’. The concept of the Martian Rover is a huge, heavy vehicle that can travel over the rugged terrain of the Red Planet. It’s like an armored van that uses chain tracks instead of the wheels.

There’s no way of knowing if a Mars landing will happen any time soon, but it’s only a matter of time and preparing for that day is crucial . For these scientists, there’s no better time than the present to begin preparing for the future , and they’re doing it right here, their own version of ’Mars on Earth’.


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      Chelsea18 5 years ago

      Great article! I would like to walk on Mars with this suit