SUSAN Ip Jewell grew up in Hereford, now she’s pioneering man’s move to Mars.

Susan “lands” on Mars this weekend as part of the most sophisticated simulation yet of life there.

The results of that simulation will ready a team for a one-way mission to Mars and the start of future human colonisation.

Susan may well be with that mission too.

Some 30 years ago Susan launched a showbiz career with her three sisters.

Susan, Anne, Mary and Helen were the Tupsley teenagers who turned heads singing as the Ip Sisters, an act that brought them to national attention.

The Ip Sisters Chinese restaurant, then in Union Street, Hereford, was run by their dad, SAS legend Ip Kwong-Lau.

Susan also sang with 80s outfit China Doll for a time, having honed her head for science with a Bachelor’s degree in biology at Aston University.

By the early 1990s, with the sisters gone their separate ways, Susan was living in Los Angeles. Her studies since have put her at the forefront of 21st century space exploration.

As Dr Jewell, Susan is a specialist space physician-scientist and biomedical engineer trained at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre and a scholar of the International Space University.

Extreme environment survival skills needed for deep-space missions were an essential element of that training undertaken with the longterm goal of colonising Mars.

Selected for the MarsCrew134 Analogue Astronaut expedition, Susan joins a humanoid robot and six highly specialised researchers, scientists and engineers at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah as executive and medical officer to the most sophisticated Martian simulation yet conducted.

Under two weeks of “total immersion”

from this Saturday, the team is expected to come as close to life on Mars as humans currently can in preparing for a future, self-sustaining, Martian colony that it is likely to pioneer.

Susan says she’s an “avid believer”

in the need for humans to establish a permanent, multi-generational presence on Mars.

But, however far she goes, Susan says part of her will always call Hereford home.