Questions Wanted: What's a Mock Mars Mission Really Like?

Mock Mars Mission #5
Take a look inside Crew 133's mission (Jan. 4 to 19, 2014) at the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah. (Image credit: Elizabeth Howell)

In the Utah desert, a team of scientists is hard at work attempting to recreate what a real-life mission to Mars might be like, and contributor Elizabeth Howell is along for the ride to share the experience with readers. So, what questions would YOU want answered about life aboard a mock Mars mission?

Elizabeth is part of a team from the University of North Dakota visiting the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah, on a two-week Red Planet simulation. The mission runs from Jan. 4 to Jan. 19 and features a crew of eight commanded by Paula Crock, who has visited the mock Mars habitat simulator before. They will conduct mock "Marswalks" (while wearing spacesuits) and have to work together inside the cramped confines of the habitat module.

With six crew members on Crew 133, space was in short supply inside a vehicle heading to the Mars Desert Research Station on Jan. 4, 2014. Pictured is Elizabeth Howell. (Image credit: Elizabeth Howell)

On Wednesday, Elizabeth and Paula hope to record a video answering your questions from the Mars Desert Research Station, but first they need to know what you want to know. You can submit your questions in the comments section below. [Mock Mars Mission Photos: Life on a Simulated Red Planet]

Have a burning question about the mission or a picture you really would like to see from the site? E-mail for the chance to get your question answered in a future story.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.