3 to spend 2 weeks in UND Lunar/Mars habitat

3 to spend 2 weeks in UND Lunar/Mars habitat Click to Enlarge

A team of two women and one man will spend the next two weeks conducting experiments and research in the UND Space Studies Inflatable Lunar/Mars Habitat.

Two female UND graduate students and a male physician from Florida will enter the habitat at noon Thursday for the unit’s sixth NASA-funded mission.

Dr. Pablo de Leon, director of the UND human space flight laboratory, says the crew will administer medical and psychological experiments, as well as some tests outside the habitat.

"All these activities turn later into research that we send to NASA so they can explore or go deeper into some of the experiments that wil be performed later on a planetary space mission," de Leon said.

de Leon says the mission will go on—despite the recent winter storm.

"Mars sometimes gets even colder than Grand Forks," he said. "Chances are that Mars explorers will be people who are able to resolve any emergency situation and that's why we have to move forward and explore ways of resolving all the different issues."

The habitat is located west of the UND campus off I-29. de Leon says it’s the only habitat of its kind on an American university campus.

(UND photo)

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