Life on Mars

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Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island on Earth. Sitting just North of Lancaster Sound it is a polar desert – dry, desiccated and with ground full of permafrost. It is as close as you can get, on earth, to conditions on Mars or the Moon. Every summer, scientists from NASA, Seti and numerous academic institutions visit here┬áto test equipment, procedures and medicine for future Mars and Moon reconnaissance. We visited for a day and saw a tiny peak at what life could be like on another planet.

IMAGES: the desolate Devon Island landscape. Activity happens around a giant meteorite crater, called the houghton crater, the site of an impact some XXX million years ago. Converted humvees and mock space suits are used to practise procedures. Elsewhere drill bits power through the permafrost taking samples that mimic procedures they will later attempt on Mars.

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