LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– Putting people on Mars may seem far fetched to some, but it’s the been the of a group in Lakewood for nearly two decades. The Mars Society based in Lakewood has been practicing for the trip.
“It’s where the future is, it’s the closest planet that people can settle,” said Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin.
For Zubrin, putting a man on the moon was just the beginning. The mission to Mars attracts space travel enthusiasts from everywhere on Earth.
“We get hundreds of volunteers from around the world,” said Zubrin.
Zubrin has written books about Mars titled “The Case For Mars” and “How To Live On Mars.”
This week the group wrapped up a practice mission in the rural Utah desert.
“We are talking about the area known as Capitol Reef, not far from the Henry Mountains,” said Zubrin.
The Mars Society has organized a practice Mars station where hundreds of hopefuls who volunteered for the practice run were narrowed down to a crew of six.
They live in the desert for up to a month as if they were actually on Mars.
“The terrain is quite Mars-like,” said Zubrin.
The crew members on the most recent trip were from Europe. They perform missions that would theoretically helps Mars colonists such as collecting soil samples, building and moving equipment.
“We are starting to learn what is going to work on Mars, what is not going to work on Mars,” said Zubrin.
Zubrin calls the practice missions crucial to developing a guidebook to living on the red planet.
“What we are trying to do is find out what should be in the training manual,” said Zubrin.
Zubrin believes that manual needs to be written soon because he believes putting people on Mars should and will be the final frontier, “The space program needs a goal and the goal should be humans to Mars.”
In addition to training in the Utah desert, the Mars Society is putting together a one year arctic mission to simulate living on Mars.