Biology professor Tim Kral won’t argue with anyone if they call his fascination with Mars an obsession. He loves the Red Planet, with its average temperature of -60 degrees C and atmosphere that’s 95 percent carbon dioxide. In Professor Kral’s office at the University of Arkansas, Martian figurines sit on shelves next to books about scientific topics that most people wouldn’t even know how to pronounce. “I have always been interested in the search for life out there,” Kral says. And that search is what keeps him occupied at the Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Science, which opened last month in Fayetteville. The center’s main tool for planetary study will be the Andromeda chamber, which, when it’s fully assembled in the coming months, will allow researchers and students to simulate the conditions of planets, comets, and asteroids.