Mock Mars Mission Photos: Life on a Simulated Red Planet

Journalist Howell and Birthday Cake

Matthieu Komorowski

A screenshot from a video shows journalist Elizabeth Howell blowing out the candles on her birthday cake at Utah's Mars Desert Research Station in January 2014.

Journalist Howell's Birthday Presents

Elizabeth Howell

For journalist Elizabeth Howell's birthday, her family sent along a few small presents.

Elizabeth Howell Participates in Mock Anesthesia Procedure

Elizabeth Howell

Journalist Elizabeth Howell inserts a laryngoscope in a mannequin as part of a procedure to simulate giving anesthesia for a patient. Howell was on site at Utah's Mars Desert Research Station.

Mannequin at Utah's Mars Desert Research Station

Elizabeth Howell

This 10-kilogram mannequin was used to show untrained crew members how to administer anesthesia and insert tubes inside the "patient's" throat. France's Lille 2 University mannequin was at Utah's Mars Desert Research Station.

Anesthesiologist Matthieu Komorowski

Elizabeth Howell

Anesthesiologist Matthieu Komorowski, from Lille 2 University in France, with a mannequin used to demonstrate medical procedures.

Journalist Howell Uses Telescope

Joseph Jessup

Space journalist Elizabeth Howell using the 14-inch telescope in the observatory at the Mars Desert Research Station.

Jupiter Observed at the Mars Desert Research Station

Matthieu Komorowski

The bands of Jupiter are easily visible through the 14-inch telescope at the Mars Desert Research Station.

Observatory at the Mars Desert Research Station

Matthieu Komorowski

The observatory (right) is situated about 100 feet (30 meters) from the Mars Desert Research Station.

Crew 133 Simulated Mission

Elizabeth Howell

Crew 133 gets in touch with "Earth" during a simulated mission at the Mars Desert Research Station in rural Utah. Back row: Joseph Jessup, Matthieu Komorowski. Front row: Paula Crock, Gordon Gartrelle, Pedro Diaz-Rubin.

Jessup Climbs Hill During 'Marswalk'

Elizabeth Howell

Crew 133 engineer Joseph Jessup navigates a steep hill near Utah's Mars Desert Research Station, Jan. 8, 2014.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: