A team dressed in space suits sets out on a mission to find out the conditions on Mars inside a massive crater from Israel’s very hot Negev desert. The Space Forum of Australia and the Israeli space agency have set up a huge Martian base at Makhtesh Ramon, a 500-meter deep, 40-kilometer wide crater.
An autonomous rover goes through the left of the expedition base’s door. A group of solar panels can be found a few giant leaps to the right. The terrain is rocky, hilly, and red. It’s meant to look like Mars.
A team of six which included five men and one woman have started to work on the simulation about how they would live for a month on Mars in the Ramon Crater located in the southern Israeli desert.
Their AMADEE-20 home is hidden very deep in a rocky cave. They sleep, eat, and experiment on the inside. They wear space suits which consist of cameras, microphones, and a breathing system outside the cave. The six astronauts will stay in the virtual station until the end of the month. It’s a huge success to make this work. They’ve been working on it for a long time.
The participants, who came from Austria, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain, had to go through a lot of very hard physical and psychological tests.
They conduct tests on drone-like technology when they are on a mission. The drone does not use GPS and they also use automated wind and solar-powered vehicles. The mission will also research human behavior and the effect of lone life on astronauts.
The group’s union and ability to collaborate are very important for survival on Mars. The Austrian Space Forum, a private organization that consists of aerospace experts, has already planned 12 missions, the latest mission was launched from Oman in 2018.
The Israel project is a part of the mission Amadee-20, which was meant to be launched last year but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The forum made a partnership with the Israeli research center D-MARS to invent the solar-powered base. The only woman on the team, German astronaut Anika Mehlis, told AFP she was thrilled to be a part of the project.
When she was younger, her father took her to the space museum. When she saw that the forum was looking for astronauts, she knew she had to apply.
Mehlis, a trained microbiologist, will investigate a situation in which bacteria from Earth infect potential life forms found on Mars, which he believes would be a major problem.
The surrounding desert, with stones around the forest and orange hues, looks like the Red Planet, but not the same in atmospheric conditions.
Temperatures here range between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius, but on Mars, the temperature is minus 60 degrees Celsius, and the atmosphere is not suitable for breathing.
The inside of the base is scattered, with a small kitchen and bunk beds. Most of the space is reserved for scientific experiments. NASA plans to launch the first human mission to Mars in 2030.
They are preparing for a large mission, the largest voyage the world has ever done, as Mars and Earth are 380 million kilometers apart at their furthest point. They believe the first human to go on Mars is already existing and we are the ones to build ships to make the journey possible.