There is one corner of an Israeli desert that will forever be Mars after scientists began a month-long simulation of what it will be like to live on the red planet.
The team of five men and one woman have stationed themselves in the red-hued Ramon Crater, beneath a rocky step in the Negev.
In their habitat, they will sleep, eat and conduct more than 20 experiments in fields including geology, biology and medicine.
When they venture outdoors, they will wear mock spacesuits that are fitted with cameras, microphones, and self-contained breathing systems.
The project is a joint venture between the Austrian Space Forum and Israel’s space agency, alongside the local group D-MARS.
“We have the motto of fail fast, fail cheap and have a steep learning curve,” said Gernot Gromer, director of the Austrian association.
“Because for every mistake we make here on Earth, we hopefully don’t repeat it on Mars because we have done it before.”
The six-team members will be constantly monitored for their vital signs and to analyse their preferred spots indoors for congregating.