If humans were to explore Mars, how would they do it? U of T geology graduate student Darlene Lim is among a team of scientists on the NASA Haughton Mars Project asking, and trying to answer, that very question.
The project will be conducted on the Haughton Crater on Devon Island in the Canadian High Arctic. According to Lim, the geological similarities between this crater and areas of Mars are quite remarkable. She will be studying the history of the lakes and ponds around Haughton, including the crater itself, which was once an ancient lake. The data will be used as an analogue to ancient lakebeds on Mars. A two-level simulated Mars base – which sleeps up to six people – is also being built and is targeted to open July 20. “From earth sciences research to robotics testing on rough terrain, from space communication to the social aspects of living in extreme conditions, the research will be extremely useful in our quest to explore Mars,” says Lim.