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If and when humans reach Mars, they may want a nice Caesar salad after they have been there for a while. How to obtain that salad'well, that's one spin-off of the NASA Haughton-Mars project, designed to study environmental conditions at places on Earth that mimic the Martian environment.

Although no place on Earth fully shares the dryness, cold and atmospheric thinness of Mars, remote Devon Island, in Arctic Canada, comes close, at least in temperature and humidity. An international team joining NASA with Canadian universities and the British Antarctic Survey has built the Arthur C. Clarke Mars Greenhouse on the island and named it after the prominent scientist and author.

Inside the greenhouse, two computers control data collection and functions supporting plant growth without on-site human intervention in the frigid winter. How cold is it? Snow began falling on Devon Island in August.

The greenhouse includes webcams. Check www.marsonearth.org.

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