India is all set to embark on a simulated Martian environment, where people will get to experience the challenges of a manned mission to Mars, following the success of the Mars Orbiter Mission.
A crew, comprising only Indians, will participate for the first time in a two-week Mars-related research assignment between January 28 and February 12, 2017, at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, US, the Times of India reported, quoting Michael Stoltz, Mars Society's chief spokesperson.
The research projects of the all-Indian crew will include assessing "the degree to which human-associated bacteria could potentially contaminate the Red Planet during a manned mission and measure the impact of dust storms.''
The MDRS, which was launched in 2001, is organised by the Mars Society based in the US. Close to a 1,000 youngsters from across the world have taken part in the programme over the last 16 years. It is a Mars-analog test site which has the prototype of a habitat that will house humans on Mars and also serves as a test bed for exploration on Mars, the daily reported.