The Mars Desert Research Station, located in the Utah desert near the town of Hanksville, is a simulated Mars habitat that serves as a testbed for field operations studies in preparation for future human missions to Mars.
Volunteer crews live at the station, testing habitat design features and technologies. From December 27 to January 2, six college students served as the MDRS crew, as participants in NASA's Spaceward Bound program.
Spaceward Bound is an educational program whose goal is to train the next generation of space explorers by having students and teachers participate in the exploration of scientifically interesting but remote and extreme environments on Earth as analogs for human exploration of the Moon and Mars.
Laurie J. Schmidt visited the crew and got a taste of life inside the Hab: see the photos!