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Devon Island in Baffin Bay, belonging to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is the largest uninhabited island on Earth, and for good reasons. The ground remains frozen for almost the entire year, particularly the eastern third of the island which is permanently covered by an ice cap some 500 to 700 meters thick. For only a brief period, lasting 45-50 days, during the height of summer, the ground is snow-free. Summer temperature rises barely about 8°C. The average annual temperature is -16°C. In other words, Devon Island is a barren wasteland, dominated by frost-shattered rocks and nearly devoid of plants and animals. But for scientist and researchers, Devon Island is an extremely interesting place. Its desert setting and harsh climate is very similar to conditions on Mars.

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K10 Rover "Red" descending Drill Hill toward base camp at Haughton Crater Devon Island, Nunavut. Photo credit: Matt Deans/NASA

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