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Large Mars Chamber

The Large Mars Chamber Astrobiology The Open University

The Large Mars Chamber is a large, adaptable, environmental simulation chamber suitable for a wide range of scientific and engineering investigations. This facility is unique in its application to materials and processes not usually associated with vacuum chambers. Many studies involve the use of up to several kilograms of regolith simulants, as well as large volumes of water, brines and CO2 ice. The Large Mars Chamber is also suitable for testing large instruments and structures (e.g., rover mechanisms) under martian environmental conditions.

Ongoing research includes simulations of mud-volcanism, surface runoff of both water and brine solutions on sediment slopes, CO2 sublimation-driven mass wasting on sediment slopes and CO2 sublimation-driven araneiform and dust plume simulations, all under Mars atmospheric conditions.


The Large Mars Chamber is 1.8 m long and 0.9 m in diameter, with 11 large (20 cm diameter), adaptable ports used for feedthroughs and viewports. Temperatures inside the chamber can be controlled by means of a cryogenic sleeve down to -70°C. Lower temperatures (~-180°C) can be maintained using a 1.2 m long, 50 cm wide cryogenic cooling plate. Pressure is automatically controllable, between 0.8 mbar – 1000 mbar.


Length 1.8 m
Diameter 0.9 m
Pressure 1 mbar – 1000 mbar
Temperature ~-180°C – +20°C

The Mars Chambers have:

  • Automated temperature control
  • Automated pressure control
  • UV solar simulator
  • High definition video cameras
  • Photogrammetric camera array
  • High speed video cameras


For all enquiries please email:

Funding to visit and utilise this facility is available through  Europlanet 2024.

Europlanet 2024 RI has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871149