Israeli Researchers Complete Mars Simulation Experiment in Negev Desert

The participants were investigating fields relevant to a future Mars mission near Mitzpe Ramon, whose surroundings mimic the Martian environment

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A team of six Israeli researchers on Sunday ended a four-day Mars habitat experiment in Israel's Negev desert where they simulated living conditions on the Red Planet, Israel's Science and Technology Ministry said. 

The experiment was held near the isolated Israeli township of Mitzpe Ramon, whose surroundings resemble the Martian environment in its geology, aridity, appearance and desolation, the ministry said. 

The participants were investigating various fields relevant to a future Mars mission, including satellite communications, the psychological affects of isolation, radiation measurements and searching for life signs in soil. 

Israeli scientists start their mission on the D-MARS Project on February 18, 2018.
Israeli scientists start their mission on the D-MARS Project on February 18, 2018.Credit: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP

Participant Guy Ron, a nuclear physics professor from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said the project was not only intended to look for new approaches in designing a future mission to the Red Planet but to increase public interest. 

"D-Mars is half about the research, and the other half is about the outreach. A major part of this project is getting public interest and getting students interested in space," he said. 

The "D-Mars" project was being held in Israel for the first time in cooperation with the Israel Space Agency. It is one of a number of Mars simulation projects taking place worldwide.

Israeli scientists participate in an experiment simulating a mission to Mars, at the D-MARS Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station project of Israel's Space Agency, Ministry of Science, near Mitzpe Ramon, Israel, February 18, 2018.
Israeli scientists participate in an experiment simulating a mission to Mars, at the D-MARS Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station project of Israel's Space Agency, Ministry of Science, February 18, 2018. Credit: \ RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS
Israeli analog astronauts start their mission on the D-MARS Project on February 18, 2018, in cooperation with the Israel Space Agency.
Israeli analog astronauts start their mission on the D-MARS Project on February 18, 2018, in cooperation with the Israel Space Agency. Credit: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP
Israeli scientists participate in an experiment simulating a mission to Mars, at the D-MARS Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station project of Israel's Space Agency, Ministry of Science, near Mitzpe Ramon, Israel, February 18, 2018.
Israeli scientists participate in an experiment simulating a mission to Mars, at the D-MARS Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station project of Israel's Space Agency, February 18, 2018. Credit: \ RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS
Israeli scientists participate in an experiment simulating a mission to Mars, at the D-MARS Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station project of Israel's Space Agency, Ministry of Science, near Mitzpe Ramon, Israel, February 18, 2018.
Israeli scientists participate in an experiment simulating a mission to Mars, at the D-MARS Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station project of Israel's Space Agency, February 18, 2018. Credit: \ RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS

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