The drive to Mars is bumpy and rough. Out the window of the four-wheel-drive I’m riding in, I see nothing but barren landscape and volcanic rock. As the wind picks up and howls through the windows, the surroundings seem even more otherworldly.
We crest a hill and approach the only sign of civilization for miles: a white dome that resembles the billowing clouds in the sky above. We’re not really on Mars — or not yet anyway. We’re on the Big Island of Hawaii, high up on Mauna Loa, an active volcano 8,200 feet above sea level. The dome is HI-SEAS, or Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, a simulator that prepares would-be astronauts for life on the moon or Mars.
Photo via CNET