Researchers will be testing new technology on Devon Island in Nunavut this summer to better understand Mars and the moon.
TheHaughton Crater, created when a meteorite hit the Earth's surface 23 million years ago, is a cold, bleak desert of rocks, frozen rubble, dry streambeds and deep canyons. That makes itresemblea piece ofMars on Earth.
This year — the 11th for thecamp on the crater — researchers will test two K-10 rovers, which willundertake a survey intended to represent a potential survey of a lunar site.
The rover tests involve technologies that will help "actually look for ice in the ground at the polar regions of our moon and also look for ice under the surface of Mars," said Pascal Lee of theMars Institute and NASA Ames Research Center in California. "That's a very exciting project."
Brian Glass,also fromNASA-Ames, will conduct the10-kilometrestranded astronaut tests, "looking at physiological effects if someone has to hike 10 kilometresback to a lunar base from a breakdown," he said.
He will also test the heads-up displays mounted in a prototype spacesuit.
About 50 researchers from the U.S., Canada and other countries will work on-site during the seven weeks that thestation is used for field experiments.
Advance teams from the Mars Institute and Simon Fraser Universityreached the camp onJuly 2, and researchers began arriving July 10.