Martian Playground TechTV

The Martian surface is a forbidding landscape of dry riverbeds, craters, and extinct volcanoes. Those geologic features could be found in dozens of places on Earth, but probably not all in one easily accessible location. That’s why Mars has been re-created on a tiny scale by NASA scientists as a test bed for the new Mars rover that will head to the red planet in 2009. “We’ve had a group of geologists and astrobiologists spend time playing God, wondering how things really should be on Mars,” says Liam Pedersen, the project’s principle investigator.