A fictive flight above real Mars

A movie made of pictures from the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. A must see.

Universe Today: Ever wondered what final approach to Mars might feel like?

Vimeo: Jan Fröjdman

Lunar & Planetary Laboratory: HiRISE


Mars Habitats Simulated

We’re going to Mars. If NASA is not going I’m sure Elon Musk will land on planet four. But even if we have lived two hundred thousand years on Earth we still have a lot to learn before we can move to another planet. Mars is cold, has no air and no radiation shield. The lower gravity will probably also be a problem. Whatever we can simulate here on Earth before we go we need to do. Here are some of the projects doing just that:


The University of Hawai’i is operating the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation habitat. The site on the side of Mauna Loa offers a cool and dry climate with a Mars like geology. This project is sponsored by University of Hawai’i, NASA and Cornell University. Four missions has been completed ranging from four month to a year. Next mission starts January 19.

University of Hawai’i: Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation

NASA Analog Missions: HI-SEAS

HI-SEAS @ Facebook | HI-SEAS @ Twitter | Wikipedia


Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)

MDRS is operated by the Mars Society and located in the Utah desert. The habitat has a greenhouse and an observatory. Crews have been rotated the habitat since the early 2000s.

Mars Society: Mars Desert Research Station

MDRS @ Facebook | MDRS @ Twitter | Wikipedia


Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS)

The Mars Society’s first habitat, located on Devon Island. The area near the Haughton impact crater is considered one of the best Mars analog sites on Earth.

Mars Society: Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station

FMARS @ Facebook | Wikipedia


Haughton-Mars Project (HMP)

Also on Devon Island, not far from FMARS is the Haughton-Mars Project. HMP is operated by the Mars Institute with help from the SETI Institute and NASA.

Project web site: Haughton-Mars Project

Mars Institute | Facebook | Flickr | Twitter | Wikipedia



The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations is a NASA project at the underwater laboratory Aquarius.


NEEMO @ Facebook | Twitter | Wikipedia


Living on white Mars

The distant research station Concordia at the Antarctic has been used to test isolation and cold. The project was documented on a blog at ESA.

ESA: Living on white Mars (PDF)

Wikipedia: Concordia Station


Don’t forget earlier projects like MARS-500 and Biosphere 2.

Wikipedia: MARS-500 | Biosphere 2 | Human analog missions | Mars analog habitatsMars analogs



Upcoming Mars analogs: PMAS in Poland and the Mars Habitat in Brazil

NASA blogs: Analog missions

New Scientist: Four extreme environments where humans are tasting life on Mars

National Geographics: 8 amazing places you can visit “Mars” on Earth

The Vikings landed on Mars 40 years ago!

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Viking Lander on Mars! Sending an orbiter and a lander to Mars was a great achievement and NASA did it twice. It wasn’t without trouble but both the orbiters and the landers were successful! Today we take landers on Mars, and even rovers, for granted. Viking landed in a time when other missions failed. Russian Mars 3 beat Viking to Mars but only lasted a few seconds. The Viking program is one of NASA’s greatest and sparked mine and many others interest in space exploration!

NASA: Viking Mission Page | Viking at 40 Events | Livestream | NSSDC

Space.com: Viking at 40Viking on Mars, 40 years later |  Viking 1 in pictures | Robotic Red Planet Missions

Sky & Telescope: 40th Anniversary of Viking’s Red Planet rendezvous

Lockheed Martin: Viking Lander celebrates 40 years of success

Viking Mars Missons Education and Preservation Project | Tumblr

The Planetary Society: Map of all Mars landing sites

NASA’s Design and Test Summary

Tom Dahl’s collection of photos and diagrams

Wikipedia: Viking Program | Voyager Mars Program | Mars 3