Hi there and thanks for stopping by our website! We are the Areonauts and we would love to tell you about our upcoming mission to “Mars”! This year, we will reside together as “analog astronauts” at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), a Mars analog habitat in the Utah desert owned and operated by the Mars Society. Together, we will conduct activities in simulated space conditions. Many compelling experiments cannot be swiftly performed in space due to limitations in time, money, and equipment. Simulated missions like ours can provide humankind with crucial data about the validity of potential space exploration operations.
At MDRS, we will behave as though we are a pioneering crew on the red planet! This means rigidly conserving our resources even if it comes to skipping showers. We must grow our own vegetation and consistently report back to Earth about our safety and progress. We will wear life-protecting spacesuits when we conduct research in the harsh environment outside our habitat. It is likely we will need to help each other deal with the challenges of confinement and use our creative juices to conjure up palatable menus from our limited selection of dry food. Our days will be busy with everything from fixing the toilet to setting up and testing radio repeaters to analyzing surrounding soil samples for signs of life.
Although we are a group of strangers who have never met before in person, we share a common goal to serve as “one small step” toward sending humankind to Mars. Over the past year, we have been carefully preparing for a productive mission on the red planet from all across the globe. This has resulted in a crew member or two having to join our meetings at 6am! You can read about our research, outreach, and media projects on this website. You can also learn about the symbology behind our mission patch and visit our online store which highlights our patch on various merchandise. As an international group of sociologists, journalists, physicians, engineers, and scientists, we hope you can feel a connection to our diverse mission. Please contact us with thoughts or questions you may have about our mission. We will keep you updated as we countdown to our mission. During our mission, we will add a new tab to our website that provides daily updates with photos and journal entries! Ad astra for now!