Researchers practice living on Mars in Israel's desert

Israeli researchers on Sunday ended a unique experiment, simulating what it would be like to live on Mars.

The experiment was held in Israel's Negev desert, near the isolated town of Mitzpe Ramon, whose surroundings resemble the Martian environment in its geology, aridity, appearance and desolation.

Israel's Science and Technology Ministry says the team of six investigated various fields relevant to a future Mars mission, including satellite communications, the psychological effects of isolation, radiation measurements and searching for life signs in soil.

Participant Guy Ron, a nuclear physicist professor from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said the project was not only intended to look for new approaches in designing a future mission to the Red Planet, but to increase public interest.

"Mitzpe Ramon is a unique environment in that it's a very good analogue for Mars, both in terms of the terrain, the aridity, the distance, the solitude, it's very similar to Mars and that's of course the good thing," he said.

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