Flemish biologist lives for four months on mars

Flemish biologist Angelo Vermeulen and his team started their simulated life on Mars 16 april when they moved into a real space station set up on a desolate side of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. In the wide surroundings there is nothing else but red rocks and if any members of the team would want to leave the station, they will have to do it in a space suit. Moreover communication with the outside world is limited to a delayed e-mail system.
The main objective of their exercise is to establish how life on Mars would be like. So far no human has set foot on this remote planet but according to the American aeronautics and space organization NASA, it’s only a matter of time. Vermeulen and his team will focus their experiments on gardening and cooking in space. The six ‘Martians’ selected from 700 hopeful candidates and with Vermeulen as the only European on the team, will survive on freeze-dried vegetables, fruit, meat and fish, but will also attempt to grow their own vegetables to establish how much water and energy this will take on Mars, where these resources are very scarce. It was originally planned to move in on Monday, but the mission was postponed for 24 hours due to a heavy storm. Vermeulen proved to be very enthusiastic before the start of his adventure: “I am very eager to finally get going after our intensive year-long preparations. I’m also madly excited about seeing the Mars basis as we have no idea what it will look like. We will be dropped in pitch darkness to make our simulated arrival on Mars more real. We don’t know where we’ll end up.”

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