I'm in downtown Ottawa, sitting in a comfortable hotel room, and contemplating the expedition ahead of me. Tomorrow morning I leave for the High Arctic; I'm headed for Haughton Crater, on Devon Island, by way of Resolute Bay, Nunavut.
Devon Island has the distinction of being the world's largest uninhabited island, but I can tell you this polar desert does indeed have several inhabitants, and I am about to become one. The fact is, this region is extremely desirable as a terrestrial Mars analog, which essentially means that environment, geology, operations, or some combination of factors are similar to a Martian experience.
The Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) is an international field research program, made possible by NASA, SETI, the Mars Institute, and the Canadian Space Agency. The conditions are ideal for real-world testing of rovers, habitats, and space suit prototypes, which is exactly the reason I packed my Arctic survival gear yesterday, and got on a plane to Canada.
However, it's late, and I need to catch a chartered air flight early tomorrow, so I'll have to end this with a ...."to be continued..."