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In desert of Oman, a gateway to life on Mars
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In sunglasses and jumpsuits, a crew of European test astronauts is laying the groundwork for a Mars simulation in the barren expanse of the Omani desert, a terrestrial mission intended to pave the way to the red planet. The "analog astronauts" of the Austrian Space Forum -- a volunteer-based collective -- have arrived in Oman to begin preparations for a four-week simulation mission due to begin next year. Touching down at Marmul Airport, a remote outpost used by oil workers, the five-person advance team loaded up on sunscreen and, with their Omani counterparts dressed in crisp white gowns and colourful turbans, boarded four-by-fours and plunged into the desert under the blazing sun. read more
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