Hypatia Missions

The ‘Hypatia’ missions consist of two-week expeditions to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), a Martian analog station situated in the Utah desert, United States. During these missions, crews engage in high-quality space-related research and meticulously simulate their day-to-day life on Mars. Confined to a small space and deprived of the luxuries and resources of Earth, they experience the challenges that astronauts may face on the Red Planet.

These missions also serve as a platform to showcase female STE(A)M role models. Children and youth encounter real and relatable examples of contemporary scientists from various disciplines –including astrophysics, mathematics, engineering, and biology– among the crew members. The stories of these individuals have the potential to ignite inspiration in future generations, encouraging them to pursue careers in these fields.

Hypatia I – 2023

‘Hypatia I’ is the first all-female crew at the national level to be selected for a space simulation mission at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in the United States. Selected through a competitive process by the Mars Society, ‘Hypatia I’ became the 280th crew to travel to the Martian analog station from April 16th to 29th, 2023.

Hypatia II – 2025

Following the success of the first mission, the ‘Hypatia II’ crew embarks on an exciting new journey to Mars. Selected through a competitive process initiated by the Hypatia Mars Association, the second team will undertake a simulation mission at the analog station MDRS from February 2nd to 15th, 2025.

Mars Desert Research Station

Analogous stations are centers located in remote and extreme places on Earth that allow to simulate life on other planets, such as Mars. This allows testing of new space technologies and analyzing the behavior of a crew in isolated conditions.

The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is a Mars analogous station operated by the Mars Society, an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting research and exploration on the Red Planet, located in the heart of the desert of Utah, in the United States.

The facilities of the MDRS, connected by tunnels to ease the mobility of the crew, are:

  • Habitat (Hab): two-floor, eight-meter-diameter building where the crew lives and plans the extra vehicular activities (EVA).
  • Astronomical Observatories: two infrastructures, one dedicated to the observation of the Sun and the other to the study of the night sky.
  • GreenHab: a greenhouse that allows agricultural research and plant cultivation for human consumption.
  • Geology and Microbiology Lab: scientific dome of seven meters in diameter for research.
  • RAM: Repair and maintainence module.
© The Mars Society

Mars Exploration

Mars has always aroused fascination among humans. This planet is the fourth closest to the Sun and is located in the habitable zone of our Solar System. Precisely, current space missions are looking for clues to life in the past and determine its habitable potential. Currently, there are eleven international missions on Mars which are still operational. Three of them were launched in 2020: NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance, China’s Tianwen-1 and Hope, the first UAE mission sent to Mars.

© European Space Agency