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A Little Piece of Mars

Posted by TestOut Staff on

Goblin Valley State Park at the edge of the San Rafael Swell in central Utah has a spooky, otherworldly atmosphere. The extraterrestrial vibe is so strong, in fact, that the makers of the Star Trek-spoofing comedy movie Galaxy Quest went to Goblin Valley to film the scene where Tim Allen's blithely inexperienced "crew" visits a strange planet to locate and recover a "beryllium sphere" to fuel the Thermian exploration vessel where they have become honored guests.

"Is there air?! You don't know!"

Not far from Goblin Valley, further south along the great forbidding sweep of the San Rafael Swell, is another site that takes advantage of the arid rocky emptiness that so strongly suggests the surface of a far-distant planet. Or not so distant, in this case, since the location in question is the site of Mars Desert Research Station, a training facility meant to simulate anticipated conditions on the surface of Earth's nearest celestial neighbor.

Owned and operated by space-advocacy nonprofit The Mars Society, the Mars Desert Research Station is a training facility designed and built to closely simulate the conditions and challenges that a manned expedition could expect to encounter on the surface of the Red Planet. Small crews visit the station for short periods to act out the parameters of a Mars mission in meticulous detail.

In essence, the facility lets researchers rehearse for an actual future space exploration mission. As of earlier this year, more than 175 crews had completed rotations at Mars Desert Research Station across the more than 15 years since its construction.

There's no telling, or at least not yet, whether skills acquired over the course of training at MDRS would actually benefit a team of astronauts sent to Mars. Here at TestOut Continuing Education, however, we can certainly appreciate the approach that The Mars Society is pursuing. It's one thing to read and memorize theory and concepts, but actually putting those ideas into action is the best way to both learn and retain them.

That's why our IT training courseware and exams are simulation-intensive. We'll help you learn IT theory and concepts, through training videos, read-through materials, and various review tactics, but we don't stop there. Each of our courses includes detailed simulations that let you get "hands-on" experience performing actual IT job tasks. Our training ensures that you can actually put your IT knowledge to productive daily use.

So think of TestOut training the next time that you watch the Matt Damon movie The Martian, or read a novel or comic book about Mars exploration. Like the MDRS, right here in our home state of Utah, TestOut training walks you through detailed simulations that replicate real-world scenarios. Don't just memorize the answers to your next certification exam — use TestOut CE training, and you'll learn what you can actually do with all of those facts.


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