THE BIG PICTURE: Life on Mars

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OTHER WORLDLY: Maurer (left) and Stevenin (right) have been exploring Lanzarote

THIS volcano  field in the Canary  Islands has been chosen  as the location for a new  experiment to test humanity’s  capability of exploring other planets.

Lanzarote’s  Geoparque was  chosen as the setting  for the European Space Agency’s  (ESA) Pangaea-X experiment because  of how similar its barren landscape  is to the surface of Mars.

The  team has  been working  near the Geoparque’s  Tinguaton Volcano. The  ESA sent astronauts Herve  Stevenin and Matthias Maurer  (pictured) to the island along  with scientists and engineers as  a trial run of a future mission to  the Red Planet.

The  project  involves geology  training with the  crew working with the  latest navigation tools,  remote sensing equipment, 3D  imaging devices and geosciences  tools. ͞

The  Pangaea-X  crew explores  the barren and  dry landscape of  Lanzarota in the Canary  Islands, Spain, to prepare  for the day when we set foot  on other worlds,the ESA said.  

Elena  Mateo, one  of the Pangaea-X  team members, said  the Geoparque was the  only one in the world with  such a strong link to space sciene.  Jesus Martinez-Frias, another team member,  said the Canary Islands were pearls for planetary  studies.

With  a common  past of oceans  and dotted by volcanoes,  the Canaries are a very martian world, Martinez-Frias said

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