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Doug Campbell completed a two-week simulated mission to Mars in the Utah desert. (Submitted by Doug Campbell)

Aspiring Saskatoon astronaut eyes private space travel as best bet

Saskatoon engineer Doug Campbell (BE'08, MENG'13, MSc'18) completes citizen scientist-astronaut academy in preparation for space travel.

Saskatoon biomedical engineer Doug Campbell (BE'08, MENG'13, MSc'18), who was recently featured in an article by CBC News, believes he will make it to space in his lifetime, most likely on a commercial flight, and has gone to great depths and heights to prepare himself.

Campbell, 33, will graduate in August from a two-year program that focuses on astronautics research, training and simulation. The course is offered by Untethered Exploration, a private academy in the United States that offers training for space and deep sea exploration.

As part of the curriculum, he lived in an above-ground bunker in the Utah desert for 14 days in a simulated mission to Mars. The "space" lab had a greenhouse and living quarters. To step outside, he had to wear a full space suit to mimic the protection needed in a Martian environment.

During the mission, Campbell built and tested a dishwasher that cleans dishes with ultraviolet rays — rather than soap and water — as a way to solve an everyday problem for a colony on Mars.

The ultimate goal, he said, is to become an astronaut.

"It's my passion. But, it's a very hard career to get into, obviously," Campbell said. "Still, with that eye on the prize … it's getting more and more viable every day." 

Read more at https://www.cbc.ca/news/

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