Six astronauts are coming to train at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in the Utah desert on April 20th. The Utah desert is very much like Mars in its terrain and its crushing loneliness. The Russians are coming specifically to practice “maintaining domestic life on Mars.” That sounds exciting. And boring. But exciting.
The biggest challenge for the crew, as we see it now, is carrying out effective work in complete isolation. Six people will be living in small accommodations and will have to wear spacesuits to go out into the Mars-like desert. Two weeks is not too long, but psychological compatibility is always a challenge.
Play nice, comrades.
There have been 128 teams from different countries since 2002. The alien landscape around MDRS and its infinite loneliness was previously captured by photographer Vincent Fournier. (Image: Vincent Fournier)