Living on Mars in Utah

Some of the first people to live on Mars returned to normal life today. This wasn’t too hard since they were actually in the Utah desert. The Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station is designed to mimic what life would be like on Mars, and the researchers get fully into their roles. When they go outside, they wear a spacesuit. They recycle all their water and eat freeze-dried food. And they take waterless “chemshowers”, so they are definitely living in the future.

MIT graduate student Philip Cunio kept a blog of his experiences. You can also read formal reports of the most recent expedition.

And in a bit of news about exploration of the real Mars – on February 22nd, the entire Mars Exploration Rover tactical operations team was female. I had no idea that there were that many women in space exploration, and it makes me really happy.

Via Boing Boing & Thus Spake Zuska


3 Responses to Living on Mars in Utah

  1. Kirsten says:

    … and if you look a little further down the page you linked to, you’ll see that our own Sister Amy Trueba Knudson (K’92?) was on the team as the Mini-TES Payload Uplink Lead. I don’t know what that is, but it sounds important!

  2. I actually did look for her, but I think I only checked the photos. I can’t even imagine what her title means, but for some reason my mental image involves Legos, which can’t possible be right. Yay Sis. Knudson!

    (for any readers that are very very confused at my plethora of siblings, Eric & I were both in a coed literary fraternity.)

  3. Amy Knudson says:

    Why did it take me so long to notice this? Yes, I was there, I was part of this great event. The best part was that we were all regulars. There were days when the team was almost entirely female without any planning or coordination. It only took a little tweaking of schedules to actually make it happen. I wasn’t in the pictures because I work remotely from my home in Seattle.

    I am away at a retreat this week with the Planetary Science Institute, and I was noticing again how wonderful it is to be surrounded by smart, competent, fantastically talented planetary scientists who also happen to be women. I feel very lucky to be a part of this community.

    Oh, in regards to what my title means – I operate the Mini-TES instrument, which is short for Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer. We look at the world in the infrared (kind of like using infrared goggles) but we also separate the temperature up into lots of different bands, like the different colors in a visible light picture. You can use the data to show differences in temperature and also mineral composition. It’s cool, especially on Mars.

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