Mars Arctic Research Station
Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada


Mars Society

Haughton-Mars Project


The Mars Arctic Research Station, MARS, is a prototype of the habitat that will land humans on Mars and serve as their main base for months of exploration in the harsh Martian environment. Sponsored, designed, and built by the Mars Society as its first milestone project that will pave the way to sending humans to Mars, this habitat represents a key element in both Dr. Robert Zubrin's Mars Direct plan and NASA's Design Reference Mission, the agency's baseline scenario for sending humans to Mars. The MARS's centerpiece is a cylindrical habitat, the "Hab", an 8 m-diameter three-decked structure mounted on landing struts. Inflatable external structures, a garage and a greenhouse, will be appended to the Hab.

The MARS will serve as a field base to a team of up to 6 crew members, geologists, astrobiologists, engineers, mechanics, physicians, and others, living in relative isolation at the Haughton meteorite crater on Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada, an island far north of the Arctic Circle. The site has been studied by NASA scientists as a uniquely promising Mars analog, a wonderland of Mars-like geologic and possibly biologic features set in a cold polar desert. The MARS crew will use the opportunity of this ongoing Mars analog field research to test new space suits in the field, new life support equipment in the Hab, new communication and information-sharing technologies, prototype Mars rovers, human-enhancing robotic explorers, drilling rigs and other field exploration equipment, normal operation and emergency procedures, and practice the fine art of living and working cooperatively in cramped quarters in an inhospitable environment for weeks to months at a time.

NASA scientists and engineers will be consulted at all stages of the project's design and construction and the facility will be made available for joint NASA and Mars Society operation upon completion. The first elements are scheduled to be set up at Haughton in the summer of 1999. The MARS will begin operations in July, 2000. It is anticipated that the project will generate tremendous public interest and support, and will receive worldwide recognition.

Visit the Classroom, hosted by YES I CAN! SCIENCE, York University, Ontario, Canada for a description of the MARS and information on systems, design, operation and management and to access resources for teachers, classroom activities, labs, demos and lesson plans linked to The Common Framework of Science Learning Outcomes, (The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada).

Overview | Mars Society | Haughton-Mars Project, (HMP) | Classroom