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Soon, we’ll be able to gauge what life might be like on Mars, despite never having landed a human being on the planet’s surface.

The group responsible for such a development is Mars One, a not-for-profit foundation based in the Netherlands that’s dedicated to creating a human settlement on Mars.

Today, the group announced the launch of a new project to construct an Earth-based outpost that simulates the conditions found on the red planet.

The newly launched project is an important first step in making Mars One’s goal a reality. The Earth-based outpost’s primary purpose will be to help train astronauts (and other potential Mars mission crew members) by giving them experience about what to expect from the Martian environment.

A location for the outpost hasn’t been determined, but Mars One said it eventually wants to build multiple outposts across the globe. The group also said the first outpost won’t include the technology for a real life-support system when it opens, but such systems will eventually be added.

Mars One said it’s currently searching for potential construction companies to build the outpost as well as companies and other organizations that may be interested in sponsoring the project.

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