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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

Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for 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.