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Mock Mars Mission Photos: Life on a Simulated Red Planet

Gartrelle Prepares for Simulated Marswalk

Elizabeth Howell

Gordon Gartrelle, Crew 133 executive officer (center), prepares for a simulated "Marswalk" Jan. 6, 2014. Assisting is commander Paula Crock (left) and crew doctor Matthieu Komorowski. The University of North Dakota-led crew was working at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.

Mars Out The Window

Elizabeth Howell

Mars-like terrain outside of a porthole at Utah's Mars Desert Research Station.

Inside the GreenHab

Elizabeth Howell

Crew 133 health and safety officer Matthieu Komorowski inside the GreenHab, a greenhouse located at Utah's Mars Desert Research Station.

Cooking Quesadillas at Utah's Mars Desert Research Station

Elizabeth Howell

Crew 133 executive officer Gordon Gartrelle (left) and commander Paula Crock cooking quesadillas at Utah's Mars Desert Research Station, Jan. 7, 2013.

Bootprint on Mars-Like Soil

Elizabeth Howell

Dryness and cold form cracks in the area around Utah's Mars Desert Research Station.

Ice Crystals

Elizabeth Howell

In winter, the terrain surrounding Utah's Mars Desert Research Station is made up of ice crystals shaped by wind and temperature.

Mars Desert Research Station #2

Elizabeth Howell

There are few signs of civilization nearby the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah.

Mars Desert Research Station

Elizabeth Howell

The Mars Desert Research Station is a facility run by the Mars Society near Hanksville, Utah to simulate exploration on the Red Planet.

Riding to Mars Desert Research Station

Elizabeth Howell

Crew 133 engineer and geologist Joseph Jessup speaks as a vehicle passes by Mars-like terrain en route to Utah's Mars Desert Research Station on Jan. 4, 2014.

Cows on Mars?

Elizabeth Howell

Along Highway 70 in Utah, the terrain resembles that of the Red Planet.

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Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for Space.com who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is the author or co-author of several books on space exploration. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in Space Studies, and an M.Sc. from the same department. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University in Canada, where she began her space-writing career in 2004. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level, and for government training schools. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @howellspace.