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Exploring new technology on Devon Island

Mars On Earth: Astronaut Canyon, one of the Mars-like wonders of Devon Island, High Arctic, featured in Google’s new documentary short on the NASA Haughton-Mars Project. The canyon was carved by glaciers and resembles some of the tributary canyons to Ius Chasma on Mars. © HMP/Pascal Lee

Imagine driving your ATV wearing a space suit! And what are you doing decked out in this outer space garb? Looking for traces of an extra-terrestrial signature.

Every summer Devon Island, Nunavut, turns into a research lab for scientists who study Mars. During the 2018 summer field campaign, Google travelled with members of the Haughton-Mars Project to collect Street View imagery to allow Google Earth and Google Maps users to visit Devon Island virtually, and to create a Google Earth guided tour illustrating how Devon Island is so similar to Mars. In addition, a 10-minute documentary titled “Mars On Earth: A Visit to Devon Island” was produced.

The NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) is a leading international Mars analog field research project centered on the Haughton meteorite impact crater site and surrounding terrain on Devon Island. As one of the most Mars-like places on Earth, the site is often referred to as Mars On Earth. Over its 22 years of history, the NASA HMP has made many contributions to the advancement of Mars science and future exploration through research conducted at the site.

Check out the Street View imagery now available on Google, as well as the Documentary, “Mars On Earth: A Visit to Devon Island,” at youtu.be/xzyOdH6OlV0.