Lichen, Pizza and Mars Crew 149 (Gallery)
The Utah desert is an analog for several elements of the marian environment.
Credit: Kellie Gerardi

Mars Desert Research Station Crew 149 member Kellie Gerardi contributed this article to Space.com's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Mars Desert Research Station Crew 149 has just embarked on their Utah excursion, simulating life on Mars. These are images from their early adventures. Read more in Kellie Gerardi's feature "Mars on Earth? What Life Is Like on the 'Red Planet’" and see a gallery from her experiences here.

A team effort

 

From left to right, MDRS Crew 149 members Kellie Gerardi, Pamela Nicoletatos and Ann-Sofie Schreurs. 


The first step

 

The door to the MDRS 149 habitation module.


The uniform

 

MDRS Crew 149 member Kellie Gerardi tries on her EVA suit.


 The ride

 

An MDRS 149 "astronaut" takes an extended EVA with a crew rover. 


The job

 

Plants under study in the MDRS 149 laboratory.


The place

 

The Utah desert is an analog for several elements of the martian environment.


The likeness

 

On an EVA in the red, dusty desert of Utah, it's easy to see how one can feel transported to Mars.


The crew

 

The Mars Desert Research Station 149 crew.


The focus

 

The MDRS 149 research will focus on lichen, as it could potentially serve as a protective, living environment for oxygen-producing cyanobacteria transported to Mars.


The life

 

How to make pizza on Mars, with Dr. Elena Miscodan.

Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates — and become part of the discussion — on FacebookTwitter and Google+. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on Live Science.