NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate is developing the concepts and technologies that will be needed to travel to and from the moon and sustain a human presence there.
Because NASA field centers do not have terrain similar to the lunar surface, the agency conducts analog tests in remote field locations. At these locations teams of scientists, engineers and astronauts test robotic equipment, vehicles, habitats, communications, and power generation and storage. They evaluate mobility, infrastructure and effectiveness in the harsh environments.
Test locations include the Antarctic region, oceans, deserts, and arctic and volcanic environments.
Last month, the Pavilion Lake Research Project (Pavilion Lake, Ontario, Canada) and the Haughton Mars Project (Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada) kicked off the 2009 series of exploration analog missions; and later this fall, the Desert RATS team will trek into the deserts of Arizona.
You can stay connected with current and upcoming analog research teams through Blogs, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, all available through the analogs Web site at http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/analogs