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Scientists participate in an experiment led by Austrian and Israeli space agencies simulating a mission to Mars in Negev desert, Israel, October 10, 2021.
Copyright  Amir Cohen/REUTERS

These photos show life on Mars training camp in the Israeli desert

By Scott Brownlee

The Ramon Crater in Israel’s Negev desert has been transformed into a Martian base camp. Giving scientists and astronauts the chance to experience what life might be like when humans venture to the red planet.

During the one-month-long mission, six astronauts will sleep, eat and conduct experiments at the Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station (D-MARS). Experiments will serve as a simulation for future human and robotic Mars exploration missions.

When required to venture outside, the astronauts wear mock space suits fitted with cameras, microphones and self-contained breathing systems for data collection.

Amir Cohen/REUTERS
Scientists pose for a photo before beginning of experiment led by Austrian and Israeli space agencies simulating a mission to Mars in Negev desert, Israel, October 10, 2021.Amir Cohen/REUTERS
During the one-month-long mission, six astronauts will sleep, eat and conduct experiments at the Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station (D-MARS),
Amir Cohen/REUTERS
Scientists test mock space suits at D-MARS in Negev desert, Israel, October 10, 2021.Amir Cohen/REUTERS
Amir Cohen/REUTERS
Scientists demonstrate space suits at D-MARS in Negev desert, Israel, October 10, 2021.Amir Cohen/REUTERS
JACK GUEZ/AFP or licensors
Scientists enter habitat for mission at D-MARS in Negev desert, Israel, October 10, 2021.JACK GUEZ/AFP or licensors

D-MARS is located in the Negev desert in southern Israel, which is an extremely arid environment. This makes it the perfect location to simulate life on Mars, as the region typically experiences no rainfall from June to October.

To simulate the challenges of a real base camp on Mars, D-MARS runs completely off-grid, harnessing wind and solar energy. This green energy also powers the rovers and drones used by the astronauts in their experiments.

Space travel has long been responsible for new and important inventions. From the all-important NASA space pen to cochlear implants, scientists are hopeful that solutions to long-term space travel could help make our own planet a greener one.

Amir Cohen/REUTERS
Scientists holds a test drone at D-MARS in Negev desert, Israel, October 10, 2021.Amir Cohen/REUTERS
Amir Cohen/REUTERS
The sole female participant in the mission at D-MARS in Negev desert, Israel, October 10, 2021.Amir Cohen/REUTERS
JACK GUEZ/AFP or licensors
Scientists works on space suits at D-MARS in Negev desert, Israel, October 10, 2021.JACK GUEZ/AFP or licensors
Amir Cohen/REUTERS
A rover on a missions at D-MARS in Negev desert, Israel, October 10, 2021.Amir Cohen/REUTERS
Amir Cohen/REUTERS
Scientists demonstrate space suits at D-MARS in Negev desert, Israel, October 10, 2021.Amir Cohen/REUTERS

Multiple missions have taken place at the Ramon Crater since D-MARS was built in 2018. However, this current mission is possibly the most ambitious.

Staffed by six astronauts from Austria, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, the mission will run until the end of October, and sees the Austrian Space Forum working in cooperation with the Israel Space Agency.