Establishment of a Mars Analogue Research Station in Pampas de La Joya (Atacama Desert IN SOUTHERN PERU)


Human race’s thirst for knowledge boosted by curiosity has led us to achieve great technological advances and overcome goals that were once thought impossible. Today’s goal is to colonize the Red Planet and make human exploration on Mars a reality. The main objective of the Mars Analogue Research Station (MARS) program of The Mars Society is to investigate the operational environment of a base on Mars, through simulations of how it would be like to live and work on Mars-like environments on Earth. Currently, The Mars Society operates two analogue bases: Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) and Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS). These receive researchers from various disciplines (e.g., physics, biology, astrobiology, geology, engineering, etc.) who carry out research aiming to make life viable on Mars. Crew 126 (Team Peru) of MDRS has formed The Mars Society Peru as an official branch of The Mars Society, aiming primarily to build and establish a MARS in southern Peru. This paper presents the location, design and benefits of the proposed base. The selection of the location is the desert of Pampas de la Joya, in the department of Arequipa in southern Peru. This choice was based on the work of Dr. Julio Valdivia Silva, Ph.D. in Astrobiology, who works at NASA Ames Research Center. His work sustains that the area called ¨Mar de Cuarzo¨ or Sea of Quartz in the desert of Pampas de la Joya between 16ºS and 17ºS has the characteristics needed to be a new Mars Analogue: hyper-arid area, low organic matter concentration, extreme environmental conditions, very low levels of microorganisms and Martian-like geomorphological features. The design of the station has innovations that will make it different from the existing Mars Society bases. This base will serve as a research center that will house professionals and students from around the world to do research related to Mars, with the objective of placing individuals on the Martian surface.

In 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention
Eiji Onchi
Eiji Onchi
Space Production Engineer
PhD. in Kansei Science

Kansei designer and Mechatronic engineer, learning something new everyday.