Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable

Life on Mars: Six astronauts to spend four weeks under 'simulated Mars conditions' in Israeli desert

A team of six 'astronauts' has launched a Mars analogue mission in Israel's Negev Desert, hoping to bring new insights for the possible future explorations of the Red Planet.

A group of astronauts - five men and one woman will spend the next four weeks in Israel's Negev Desert, pretending to be on Mars. They will be living on a fake version of the Red Planet in order to test space suits, drones, rovers, and other equipment.

Hosted by the Israel Space Agency, in collaboration with the Austrian Space Forum facility in Innsbruck, which will be managing “mission control”, is training six astronauts to survive in a simulated Martian environment.

The Israeli space agency and the Austrian Space Forum have planned the mission called AMADEE-20, at a 40-kilometre wide and 500 metres deep crater called the Makhtesh Ramon. Once the mission commences, the astronauts will spend the entire four weeks in isolation to produce data that will be crucial for a real quest to the red planet a few years from now.

A report from Daily Mail claimed that the mission will be led by commander João Lousada, in what will be the Austrian Space Forum’s 13th ‘Analog Astronaut’ mission. Other participants include Deputy Commander Iñigo Muñoz Elorza, with Anika Mehlis, Alon Tenzer, Thomas Wijnen and Robert Wild.