Students of IIT conduct experiments in a Mars “Down Under”

As momentum steadily builds on India’s much-awaited rendezvous with the Red Planet on September 24, seven students of IIT Bombay have turned into temporary astronauts by donning space suits and living and working in a simulated Martian environment in Arkaroola, a remote desert in Australia. The studies they are conducting include geology and astrobiology experiments in a Martian-analogue environment.

The students belong to the Mars Society of India, the official chapter of a US-based society, which was launched at the Nehru Centre in 2012.

The Martian experience, which kicked off on July 7, will conclude on July 20. It is a collaborative exercise by IIT-Bombay, Saber Astronautics, an Australian organization dealing in space technology, and the Mars Society of Australia.

“Our team is constantly interacting with scientists and evaluating the Martian rover designed and made at IIT-Bombay,” said Dhruv Joshi, the society’s founder.

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