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BEACON TRANSCRIPT – How strange is it to see two scientists in spacesuits, standing out against the auburn terrain? Apparently, it won’t be so bizarre or rare from now on, since scientists are planning to conduct some Mars simulation tests with a geo-radar.
The following step would be to map Mars with it. Scientists will do it by using the flat box across the rocky sand found in the Dhofar desert, in the south of Oman.
Our Own Mars
It so happens that the desert area in southern Oman resembles Mars, a lot. This area is situated next to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and it currently hosts over 200 scientists coming from 25 nations.
The researchers chose it as the location for the tests meant to be carried out the following four weeks. They are doing this as part of a field testing process for new technology. Its ultimate aim is to help turn to reality a manned mission to Mars.
The interest in Mars is still very much on the rise. More public and private ventures are heading its way. For example, both former US President Barack Obama and Elon Musk declared that people would be able to walk on the Red Planet sometime in the following decades. Moreover, China and Russia are joining the U.S. in its attempt to send ships to Mars.
But Why this Desert for the Mars Simulation Tests?
Analog astronaut, Kartik Kumar, declared that the desert in Oman resembles Mars completely. If you look at it from space, the Dhofar Desert looks like a flat brown stain. Only a limited number of animals and plants can survive there.
The temperatures reach an astounding 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51 degrees Celsius). On the eastern side of a dune, one can notice the Oman Mars Base. It’s a 2.4-ton habitat that was inflated and set up there.
It is surrounded by shipping containers, which were turned into labs and crew quarters. Moreover, the geomorphology, salt domes, wadis, riverbeds, and structures in the area all resemble Mars. As such, no wonder scientists are interested in conducting more Mars simulation tests in the future.
Image Source: Wikimedia