This vast open desert area is part of the MDRS, the Mars Desert Research Station just outside of Hanksville Utah. The relative isolation of the facility allows for rigorous field studies as well as human factors research. Most crews carry out their mission under the constraints of a simulated Mars mission. If you look closely, on the large rock hill just right of the center you can see a photographer from our group, which puts some perspective on how desolate this area is, like you are really on another planet.
Thanks for stopping