Enigmas on Mars
Mars on Earth
Haughton-Mars Project
Haughton Crater, Devon Island, Arctic Circle
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Credit: Mars Institute
The animated image above is from the HMP Research Station - A moon and Mars analog.

About the Haughton-Mars Project

The Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) is an international interdisciplinary field research project centered on the scientific study of the Haughton impact structure and surrounding terrain, Devon Island, High Arctic, viewed as a terrestrial analog for the Mars.

The rocky polar desert setting, geologic features and biological attributes of the site offer unique insights into the possible evolution of Mars - in particular the history of water and of past climates on Mars - the effects of impacts on Earth and on other planets, and the possibilities and limits of life in extreme environments.

In parallel with its Science program, the HMP supports an Exploration program aimed at developing new technologies, strategies, humans factors experience, and field-based operational know-how key to planning the future exploration of the Moon, Mars and other planets by robots and humans.

The HMP is managed and operated by the Mars Institute with support from the SETI Institute. HMP-2007 is our 11th field season.

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Haughton Crater

Mars Institute: Haughton-Mars Project
 


Mars on Earth
Mars Yard
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Mars Yard test of Pathfinder's airbags. Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Mars Pathfinder: Mars Yard retraction tests - deflated airbag, closed petals
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Mars Pathfinder: Mars Yard retraction tests - deflated airbags, open petal
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Credit: Carl Wellington
Previous Research

I spent the summer of 2001 working with Larry Matthies at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory evaluating and improving Visual Odometry. This technique uses stereo cameras to track features across frames to find the motion of the rover. This is important for environments such as Mars, where there is no GPS, and wheel odometry may be incorrect due to wheel slip. The Visual Odometry system is currently running on the Mars rovers.

It was a great experience, and as shown [above], I got to hang out with (test) rovers on (simulated) Mars.

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Credit: NASA Cooperative Education Program
Picking rocks for Mars Yard

Jared Schnelle is shown here in the "Mars Yard," a field of rocks designed to simulate the rough terrain of Mars for testing of spacesuits and other planetary equipment

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JPL Mars Yard Credit: by robbie_shade

MARS1 Humvee
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Credit: Mars Institute

About the MARS-1 Humvee

The distinctive orange MARS-1 Humvee rover is a unique experimental field exploration vehicle modified for the HMP by AM General, manufacturer of the famous High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) or Humvee. The refurbished four-wheel-drive all-terrain rover rolled out of AM General's plant in Mishiwaka, Indiana, on May 14, 2002, bearing the one-of-a-kind serial number "MARS-1". The vehicle configuration is that of a military ambulance HMMWV. To increase traction and tread lightly, the MARS-1 is equipped with wide tracks manufactured by Mattracks, Inc.

The MARS-1 is equipped with a tall rear cab affording compact work and living space (including two sidewall-mounted sleeping bunks) for crews of up to four researchers engaging in several day-long field traverses across the rugged Mars-like rocky polar desert terrain of Devon Island. The vehicle was specified to allow two parallel goals to be met: 1) support Arctic science research in Astrobiology and Mars analog studies by serving as a safe, reliable, all-terrain-capable, high-tech roving field laboratory vehicle; and 2) serve as an economic test bed for preliminary design and operations studies that will help define some of the key requirements for future pressurized rovers for human Moon and Mars exploration.

SOURCE: Mars Institute MARS1 Humvee

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Mars Institute's Mars-1 Humvee Rover on Devon Island, High Arctic
Credit: Spacerecord
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Credit: NASA Haughton-Mars Project
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