Junior Barak Stoltz spent two weeks in December on Mars—or at least, the closest analog available on Earth: The Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. The station, operated by the Mars Society, recruits researchers for missions meant to simulate “the experience of being an astronaut on the first [Mars] mission,” according to Stoltz. During his two-week tenure, Stoltz worked on the telescope in the Musk Observatory, wore a spacesuit whenever he ventured outside, ate dehydrated food, and bonded with a diverse crew of fellow researchers, who hailed from three continents. But so much for simulations. Does Stoltz really want to go to Mars? “Absolutely,” he says. Read more about Stoltz’s trip to Mars at the UIC News Center.
Barak Stoltz will graduate with major in mechanical engineering and minor in physics.