A remote arid desert patch in southern region of Oman was discovered to be so similar to Mars that 200 scientists from 25 countries have gathered up there to build a simulation of Mars, right here on Earth, which will help humans to know how to survive on Mars someday.

Two scientists in aluminium spacesuits, stark white against the auburn terrains of the desolated desert, testing a geo-radar built to map Martian land. The place however is not the red planet, it is in fact, the Arabian Peninsula, right here on Earth somewhere in the far-flung regions of southern Oman – a desert called Dhofar. The desolate desert in Oman and near the borders of Yemen and Saudi Arabia resembles Martian terrains so much that over 200 scientists from 25 countries across have gathered up for four weeks to field test technologies made for Mars.

The field test mission in Dhofar desert has been named as AMADEE-18 which consists of 16 different scientific tests and experiments that will help in developing suitable technology for human survival on Mars. The area in Oman was granted by Omani Government to the Austrian Space Forum’s Mars simulations during a United Nations meeting. The European would-be astronauts ventured out in the Mars-like terrains while some tried to grow vegetation on the inhospitable terrains of the land chosen. The expert teams will try to follow the quest for finding ways to survive in the inhabitable lands of the neighbouring red planet.

The AMADEE-18 mission team will simulate human, robotic surface mission on Mars in the magnificent desert of the Sultanate of Oman. In Innsbruck in the heart of the Austrian Alps up to 50 support team members will coordinate the AMADEE-18 mission. Researchers from 25 different nations unite to study operations, engineering challenges and the science of humans in their quest for traces of life on the Red Planet in this field campaign. For decades, the realm of the science fiction of sending a manned mission to Mars has been an ultimate goal for humans; and AMADEE takes us closer, much closer to living on Mars.

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