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Future Mars expedition gear tested in icy Austrian cave

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Gear that could potentially be used one day to explore Mars was recently tested in an ice cave in Austria.

AWF Mars ice cave Austria
AWF Mars ice cave Austria

A group of scientists recently took to an icy cave in Austria in order to test equipment that could one day be used to search for life on the surface of Mars. The various crews tested everything from space suits and rovers to 3D cameras and communications and radar devices. According to the Austrian Space Forum's Gernot Groemer, leader on the project, the frigid cave was chosen in particular because it's likely that any life on Mars would be found in a similar environment. The team also tested sterilization gear to make sure that anything that might be found on Mars actually came from the red planet. "If we were on Mars looking for traces of life," Groemer explained, "it has to be done so cleanly we are sure that if we find something it is from there and not a stowaway from Earth." You can check out a gallery of the testing in action from the ASF right here.