Finding Mars on Earth TechTV

Here in the middle of what most earthlings would call nowhere, a dedicated group of would-be interplanetary explorers is acting out an elaborate game of make-believe. Tonight’s “Tech Live” takes you there. The Mars Society, a collection of serious scientists, visionary futurists, and space zealots, has set up a scientific outpost on a barren stretch of desert. The wind blows incessantly across rocky mesas, gravel flats, and dusty red ridges. One can easily imagine it as a Mars-scape. This little settlement — the society calls it the Mars Desert Research Station — consists of a squat, two-story cylinder called “the hab” (for “habitat”), complete with steel struts that are supposed to suggest landing gear. There’s a makeshift greenhouse with a plastic tarp reinforced with duct tape for a door. A couple of all-terrain vehicles are parked outside. Except for the wind and cold and immense sweep of Utah sky, that’s it.