Announcements

The Mars Society seeks to educate the public, media and government about the importance of space exploration and the necessity of a strong and sustainable Mars exploration program, including a humans-to-Mars mission in the coming decade.  To that end, the organization regularly posts various announcements, releases and articles about ongoing Mars exploration and research, as well as Mars Society news and activities.  We welcome any feedback regarding this effort.  Thank you!   

Call for Volunteers (Fundraising)

posted Mar 22, 2015, 11:47 AM by M Stoltz   [ updated Mar 24, 2015, 7:28 PM ]

The Mars Society is looking for dedicated volunteers with professional experience in the fields of fundraising and/or grant writing. 

New volunteers will work together with senior Mars Society management to help coordinate fundraising efforts and planning to allow the organization to expand its current programs and initiatives to promote Mars exploration and the establishment of a permanent human presence on the Red Planet. 

If you are based in the U.S. and available to join these efforts, in whatever time-frame is comfortable for you, please contact our main office (info@marssociety.org). Thank you.

Crew 151 Mark Iranian-Persian New Year at MDRS

posted Mar 21, 2015, 7:53 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Mar 22, 2015, 10:21 AM ]

Mohammad Iranmanesh, a French-Iranian citizen and member of Crew 151 currently participating in a two-week field rotation at the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)
in Utah, unfurled the flag of Iran, alongside the American flag, to help mark a "Happy Nowruz" (Iranian-Persian New Year). 
Stressing the importance of international cooperation on space exploration, MDRS crew member Iranmanesh said "Mars has no borders, right?"

The crew also made a bit of Internet history over the weekend when they tweeted the picture of the Iranian flag at MDRS to wish Anousheh Ansari, the first female space tourist to fly to the International Space Station), a happy New Year. Not only did they receive a reply from Ms. Ansari, but the photo and message were also retweeted by NASA astronaut Ronald Garan.

2015 Mars Society Poster Contest Winner Announced

posted Mar 19, 2015, 8:18 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Mar 21, 2015, 8:01 PM ]

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2015 Mars Society Poster Contest is Ed Sludden, lead artist of a computer game design company in the United Kingdom. 

Participants were asked to design a poster that incorporates the theme - "Mars in Our Time" - for the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled to be held August 13-16 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The winning design will be used as the primary promotional graphic for the upcoming convention.

In addition, the Mars Society would like to extend its congratulations to the second and third place winners - Brian Briones and Scott Porter (respectively). The organization would also like to give honorable mention to Juan Nunez.

Mars Desert Research Station Crew 150 - Final Mission Report

posted Mar 14, 2015, 4:03 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Mar 14, 2015, 4:05 PM ]

The following is the final mission report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 150. A complete review of this year's MDRS activities and research will be presented at the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, to be held August 13-16, 2015 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Online registration is available, along with other details about the four-day conference. Please join us this summer!

Have you ever seen the skyline between Earth and Mars hiding behind the hills?

We are Crew 150, we are six Peruvian students who had a dream some months ago, having a great Martian experience MDRS. Now, we are here, we have learned to live a different but interesting life far from the Earth. This life put on our way some issues which we had to deal with using creativity and abilities during the simulation on Mars, and this have made us growing as a student, as human.

This experience will set a before and after in our professional life, because this will inspire us to get involved deeper in this theme.

This document pretends to inform the Mars Society how was our time and performance in the station during our rotation. We started our simulation on February 24, and here is our Martian life resume.

To read the full crew report, please click here.

Call for Papers - 2015 Mars Society Convention

posted Mar 14, 2015, 12:17 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Mar 14, 2015, 12:17 PM ]

The Mars Society invites presentations for the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention.  Subjects for discussion can involve all matters associated with the exploration and settlement of the planet Mars, including science, technology, engineering, politics, economics, public policy, etc.
 
Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent by June 30th to: The Mars Society, 11111 West 8th Avenue, Unit A, Lakewood, CO 80215 or forwarded via email to: 
abstracts@marssociety.org (e-mail submissions are preferred).  Sample Abstract format.

Proposed conference sessions: 
  • The search for life on Mars
  • Latest findings from Mars spacecraft
  • Why Mars?
  • Plans for 2015 Mars missions and beyond
  • Curiosity rover - research & accomplishments
  • Concepts for future robotic Mars missions
  • Phobos & Deimos: Missions to the Martian moons
  • Planning for human missions to the Red Planet
  • Advanced space propulsion systems
  • Launch vehicles for Mars exploration
  • Long-range mobility on the Red Planet
  • Life support & biomedical factors
  • Human factors & crew composition
  • In-situ resource utilization
  • Mars agriculture & aquaculture technology
  • 'The First Martians' – Building a permanent Mars colony
  • Educating the next generation of 'Marsonauts'
  • Terraforming - Creating a Martian ecology
  • How Mars technology can benefit life on Earth
  • Analog studies relating to Mars exploration
  • Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS)
  • Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)
  • University Rover Challenge (URC)
  • Proposed projects for the Mars Society
  • Technology to assist human space exploration
  • Entrepreneurial approaches to a Mars mission
  • Privately-funded Mars mission concepts
  • Mars political action and outreach
  • Public policy for Mars exploration
  • Benefits of space exploration for humanity
  • International cooperation in space
  • Martian law, governance & social systems
  • Philosophical implications for Mars exploration
  • Religion & space exploration
  • Asteroid missions & mining: A bridge to Mars?
  • Technologies for reaching the stars

NASA Mars Czar Jim Watzin to Address 2015 Mars Society Convention

posted Mar 14, 2015, 12:03 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Mar 14, 2015, 12:12 PM ]

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Jim Watzin, Director of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, will address the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, to be held August 13-16 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Mr. Watzin assumed the role, commonly referred to as “Mars Czar”, in November 2014. 

More recently, Mr. Watzin served as the technical director and deputy program executive for Command, Control, Communication, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance at the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in Huntsville, Alabama. Among his other duties, he oversaw MDA's space development and test activities. 

With a hands-on background in systems engineering, Mr. Watzin has led multiple flight projects and program offices, serving as the NASA program manager for several programs that included Living with a Star, Solar Terrestrial Probes, and Robotic Lunar Exploration. 

He was the founder of the Planetary Projects Division at Goddard, where he oversaw the development of the Mars Science Laboratory's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite and mentored the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) and Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission formulation teams.

Apollo Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Lays Out Plan for Mars Colonization in Talk at CU-Boulder

posted Mar 4, 2015, 7:57 PM by M Stoltz

By Sarah Kuta
Denver Post, 03.03.15

Just like President John F. Kennedy challenged America to land on the moon before the end of the 1960s, so too can some new leader inspire the future of space exploration on Mars, Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin believes.

Aldrin, 85, spoke before a packed house Tuesday at Macky Auditorium on the University of Colorado's Boulder campus.

"America must be the world leader in human space flight," he said. "There is no other area that clearly demonstrates American innovation and enterprise than human space flight."

Aldrin made history with Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969, when the two men became the first humans to step foot on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission. In total, they spent 21 hours on the lunar surface gathering 46 pounds of moon rocks. Some 600 million people watched the historic scene on television.

To read the full article, please click here.

Mars Desert Research Station Crew 149 - Final Report

posted Feb 23, 2015, 9:04 PM by M Stoltz

Crew 149 brought together a diverse, professional crew of individuals from Belgium, Canada, Japan, Romania, and the United States.  Each of the members of our crew is dedicated to supporting the exploration and colonization of Mars.

During our two-week rotation at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), we demonstrated that even a group of ordinary people can be capable of rising to meet the challenges presented by a Martian analogue simulation.  Indeed, within the first 72 hours of our rotation, we experienced a propane leak, heavily degraded communications, loss of power for 24 hours, water rationing, heavy winds, and clogged plumbing.  I am pleased with the matter-of-fact way that my crew  reacted to these challenges.  These were not problems: These were opportunities for us to demonstrate our resilience and resourcefulness.

Our main goal during our time at the MDRS, however, was to make a contribution to the growing body of knowledge that will one day make it possible to establish a permanent human presence on Mars. Crew 149 conducted the following research projects during our rotation:

EVA construction materials and techniques

Crew 149 constructed a 24' diameter dome structure with a trapezium framework and heavy-duty plastic sheeting exterior.  The individual framing poles were connected to cross and “t” fittings by means of clevis pins and retaining pins. The dome held up very well to the wind, but the unseasonably warm weather was its undoing.  The dome was very effective at retaining heat inside, and the internal temperature reached a point at which some of the PVC components softened and sagged.  After the tensile balance of the dome was compromised, the wind pressure on the dome caused one side to slump inward.  Crew 149 salvaged the dome by removing the outer covering and the lowest ring of vertical supports and relocating the dome to an area more sheltered from the wind.  The dome framework survived several more days before Crew 149 took it down to make room for other projects.

To read the full report, please click here.

Mars on Earth? What Life Is Like on the 'Red Planet’

posted Feb 23, 2015, 9:00 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Feb 23, 2015, 9:00 PM ]

By Kellie Gerardi
Space.com, 02.18.15

Just beyond the faintest cellular signal in the Utah Desert, dwarfed by rock formations stained red from millennia of iron oxide dust, a white cylinder emerges. This is the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), one of the world's few analog Martian habitats, where a variety of national space agencies and scientists can simulate in situ resource utilization and analog Martian field research. 

Most recently, the prototype laboratory has brought together me, Belgian NASA Ames researcher Ann-Sofie Schreurs, Canadian educator Pamela Nicoletatos, American Medevac pilot Ken Sullivan, German trauma surgeon Dr. Elena Miscodan, American lawyer and locally-elected public official Paul Bakken, and Japanese microbiologist Takeshi Naganuma. Together, we are MDRS Crew 149, immersed in a complete spaceflight simulation, living and working in an analog Martian environment. 

We come from vastly different backgrounds and research areas, but our pilgrimage to the Martian habitat was predicated on the belief that space settlement is an achievable goal in our lifetimes. And we share a desire to help achieve that goal. 

To read the full article, please click here.

[Image: The Mars Society]

Mars Society Facebook Page Surpasses 14K "Likes"

posted Feb 23, 2015, 8:54 PM by M Stoltz

We're pleased to announce that the Mars Society's official Facebook page has just surpassed 14,000 "Likes", continuing the organization's effort to reach out
via social media to help educate people about the importance of Mars exploration and creating a permanent human presence on the Red Planet. Visit our Facebook page and get involved!

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