Catholic University / Washington, D.C. / Aug. 13-16, 2015

News & Announcements

  • And We Have a Winner...

    The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Legendary Rover Team (Rzeszow University of Technology - Poland) has won the 2015 University Rover Challenge with a score of 460 points.

    Second place with 371 points belongs to BYU Mars Rover (Brigham Young University - Utah, U.S.A.), while Project Scorpio (Wrocław University of Technology - Poland) earned third place with 364 points.

    The Mars Society would like to congratulate all of the student teams for participating in this year's URC contest and for showing the kind of creativity and problem-solving that future Mars explorers will need.

    For full details about the 2015 URC competition and results, please click here.

    Posted May 31, 2015, 8:31 AM by M Stoltz
  • Special Hotel Accommodations for 2015 Mars Society Convention in Washington, D.C.

    Special hotel accommodations have been organized by the Phoenix Park Hotel (520 N. Capitol St. NW, Washington, D.C.) for the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 13-16, 2015 at the Catholic University of America. 

    Those attending the Mars Society convention may now book hotel reservations at a reduced rate by calling (toll free) # 877-237-2082 and identifying themselves  as being with Group Code 19866 or 'Mars Society'. Attendees may also book their reservations online by clicking on an a special reservation web link. Major credit card information is required at time of reservation.

    The deadline date for ordering a hotel reservation is Monday, July 13th.  Reservation requests received after this date will be subject to availability and prevailing rate.  Individual cancellation policy is 72 hours prior to date of arrival to avoid one night’s room plus tax charge to credit card provided. Please obtain a cancellation number when doing so. 

    Round-trip transportation to the Mars Society convention, held at the Catholic University campus, is available via the Union Station Metro line, located one block from the Phoenix Park Hotel. 

    For more details about the 2015 Mars Society Convention, including registration details, a list of confirmed speakers and sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

    Posted May 31, 2015, 7:29 AM by M Stoltz
  • Students Arrive in Utah for 2015 University Rover Challenge
    The Mars Society's 2015 University Rover Challenge (URC) began earlier today at the organization's Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah. 23 student teams from around the world are participating in the three-day competition, held at the world's largest "Mars sandbox" in and around the MDRS habitat. For daily updates, please visit the URC Facebook page.

    [Image: The Rover Boyz from India await the start of the Terrain Traversing Task.]

    Posted May 28, 2015, 7:55 PM by M Stoltz
  • Apollo Astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt to Address 2015 Mars Society Convention

    Dr. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt will give a plenary address to the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, which will be held August 13-16 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The title of Dr. Schmitt's talk will be "The Moon: The Fastest Operational Path to Mars."

    Dr. Schmitt is a respected geologist, university professor, former U.S. senator from New Mexico and retired NASA astronaut, having served as a crew member on board Apollo 17 in December 1972. He became the first of NASA’s scientist-astronaut group to fly in space. With Apollo 17 being the last of the Apollo missions, he also became the twelfth person to set foot on the Moon and, as of 2015, the second-to-last person to step off the lunar surface (he boarded the lunar module shortly before commander Eugene Cernan). 

    Dr. Schmitt remains the first and only professional scientist to have flown beyond low Earth orbit and to have visited the Moon. He was influential within the community of geologists supporting the Apollo program and, before starting his own preparations for an Apollo mission, had been one of the scientists training those Apollo astronauts chosen to visit the lunar surface. 

    Dr. Schmitt’s address will be given during a special plenary session to take place on the evening of August 14th. Following his talk, he will participate alongside Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin and Planetary Society leader Casey Dreier in a three-way panel debate on the subject of “Where Next for Human Space Exploration.”

    For more information about the 2015 Mars Society Convention, including registration details and sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

    Posted May 27, 2015, 7:45 AM by M Stoltz
  • Google VP Vint Cerf to Discuss Solar System Internet Design at 2015 Mars Society Convention

    Dr. Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, will give a plenary talk about his long-term vision for solar system exploration and the role communications will play in this endeavor at the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 13-16 at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. 

    Widely known as one of the "fathers of the Internet," Dr. Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He has held executive positions at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and on the faculty of Stanford University.

    Dr. Cerf served as Chairman of the Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) from 2000-2007 and has been a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1998. He served as founding President of the Internet Society (ISOC) from 1992-1995. Dr. Cerf is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum, the British Computer Society, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. 

    He currently serves as past President of the Association for Computing Machinery, Chairman of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), Chairman of StopBadWare and recently completed his term as Chairman of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology for the U.S. National Institute of Standards & Technology. In addition, President Obama appointed Dr. Cerf to the National Science Board in 2012. 

    For more information about the 2015 International Mars Society Convention, including registration details, sponsorship opportunities and a list of confirmed plenary speakers and panelists, please click here.

    Posted May 20, 2015, 8:25 PM by M Stoltz
  • Mars Society Mexico to Build Mars Analog Hab

    Senior members of Mars Society Mexico announced yesterday that the chapter will be building its own Mars Analog Research Station in the mountain desert region near Perote in the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz. Intended for a crew of four, the new facility will be a compact horizontal cylinder in design and will be called Humbolt Station. A three meter diameter by eight meter long prototype has already been built.

    Meeting with members of the media during a press conference and accompanied by Mars Society (U.S.) President Dr. Robert Zubrin, MS Mexico leaders Jorge Benitez Rodriguez and Omar Pensado Diaz also said that Mars Society Mexico will be sending a crew to the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah during the 2015-16 field season to participate in a two-week Mars analog simulation.

    [R.Zubrin - third from right]

    Posted May 17, 2015, 9:07 AM by M Stoltz
  • MDRS Wraps Up 2014-15 Field Season in Utah
    Today marks the official conclusion of the 2014-15 Mars Desert Research Station field season in southern Utah. 

    Crew 154 spent the past three weeks on site filming an independent movie, turning over the MDRS habitat to Mars Society staff earlier today. 

    The next field season will commence in mid-October 2015 and run through mid-May 2016. 

    Visit our MDRS Facebook page for more details in the future, and please extend a heartfelt congratulations to our MDRS mission support team for a great season "on Mars."
    Posted May 16, 2015, 7:41 PM by M Stoltz
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*Upcoming Events*

18th Annual International 
Mars Society Convention
August 13-16, 2015
Washington D.C.


The Mars Society's One-Year Mars Surface
Simulation Mission in Northern Canada

International Inspiration Mars
Student Design Competition

For final contest results, please click here.

A Quote to Remember

"I think NASA should be renamed NAMA. They ought to make [Mars] their one overriding goal and destination."

Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins (discussing the future of the space program)

The Mars Society is an officially registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to responsible and transparent financial management.