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Strange but true...

Alpine glaciers are a skiing venue in the middle of summer, they supply villages and towns with drinking water and even provide a habitat for glacier fleas.

The Kaunertal glacier in Austria was this summer used for a special purpose, however: over two weeks some 100 experts sampled the conditions for a manned trip to Mars. Just in time as, if the first trip to our planetary neighbour does not go ahead as planned within the next twenty years, the Austrian Space Forum will have to find a new training area for its space travellers. Glaciologists in fact reckon that most glaciers in the Alps will have melted by the end of this century. If we do not manage to save our climate by then, we might at least soon be able to look for suitable living conditions on other planets.

http://www.welt.de/wissenschaft/article144783202/Forscher-simulieren-Mars-Mission-in-den-Alpen.html (de)

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