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'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.

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