An experiment simulating life on Mars has been launched in the Canadian part of the Arctic. Volunteers from Australia, the USA and the UK will spend several weeks in partial isolation at a "Martian base".
Five participants of the experiment live on the Flashline station (FMARS), built in 2000 specifically to simulate a base on Mars. The station itself resembles a large, but low barrel.
Spitsbergen (Svalbard) would probably be a more suitable place to imitate Mars, given that the archipelago has so-called "Martian valleys", the surface of which has a reddish hue due to iron oxide coming to the surface.
The "Martian" potential of Spitsbergen will likely be realized within the framework of the planned International Research Center. Research Centre in Svalbard is intended as a consortium of research, educational and other types of organizations. It will be developed by the Russian mining company Trust Arcticugol.