A Satellite Expert Samples Life on Mars

Braun is principal director in the corporate chief engineer’s office of the Aerospace Corporation, which operates the only federally funded R&D center devoted exclusively to space enterprise, including technology, safety, and policy. Her days might include drafting policy recommendations or planning the removal of a decommissioned satellite from orbit. But for two weeks in late 2022, she was one of six people Aerospace sent to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in a remote region of Utah for an immersive simulation.

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