October 23, 2021

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Lava tubes in Hawaii could be a dress rehearsal for Mars colonies

4 min read


When humans build the first bases and habitats on other worlds, they’ll confront dangers and challenges unlike any faced by the astronauts who went before them. To prepare for such challenges, scientists are descending deep underground into lava tubes in Hawaii that simulate conditions on rocky alien worlds. 

There, mission crew members navigate uneven volcanic terrain and endure the physical constraints of performing research in a hostile environment. Wearing bulky suits like those required for extraterrestrial exploration, the scientists study the geology and organisms found in lava tunnels and caverns at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano



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