April 26th, 2004

Slice of Utah simulates Mars on Earth The Olympian

It’s been more than a week since researchers felt the sun on their shoulders or could walk freely without strapped air packs and 30-pound boots. Radio communications have been shaky, and repair work takes up most of their time.
This is life on Mars for six people. Or as close as it can get for now. While NASA robots probe the Red Planet in discovery missions, researchers are actually living the work in a remote section of the Utah desert. The Mars Desert Research Station is one of two living laboratories operated by the Mars Society, an organization dedicated to Mars exploration. The society’s other operating habitat is in an equally remote section of Canada. Another is planned for Iceland, and more could be in the works.

January 12th, 2003

Researchers work on Mars mission The Olympian

University researchers in Central Oregon are doing their part to further the goal of putting a man on Mars. Scientists from Oregon State University’s Cascades Campus are halfway through a two-year experiment that’s designed to provide methods to support human life during the journey to Mars and the duration of the astronaut’s stay on the planet. The research team is hoping to develop plants that can control the stimuli in their ecosystems, allowing plants to decide for themselves how much carbon dioxide, nitrogen or light existed within their enclosed chambers as they traveled through space or lived on Mars.

December 22nd, 2002

In Baghdad, war’s shadow never far off amid everyday life The Olympian

Martians land on Saddoun Avenue here every night, on a mission to save mankind. The people of Baghdad love it. The space aliens, in aluminum-foil suits, count a beautiful blonde, a sour-faced midget and a Darth Vader-like character among their crew. A “drunken” comedian speaks for humanity. The laughs have rocked the Victory Theater for four years, as the surreal farce “I Saw It With My Own Eyes …” has played to sold-out crowds and delivered a “message from Mars” that, for these particular Earthlings, strikes an all-too-real chord.

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