Mars Society announced today that it is initiating an effort to conduct a one-year
simulated human Mars exploration mission in the Canadian high Arctic at its Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS). Situated at 75 degrees north, roughly 900
miles from the North Pole, FMARS is located adjacent to a 20 kilometer meteor
impact crater in the midst of a polar desert that is known to represent one of
the most Mars-like environments on Earth. By conducting a Mars surface mission simulation at FMARS of the same
duration as is needed for an actual expedition to the Red Planet, the Mars
Society will take a major step forward towards learning how humans can most
effectively explore the new interplanetary frontier.
Mars Society plan, called Mars Arctic 365 (MA365), is divided into two
phases. Scheduled to commence this July,
the first phase will accomplish the refit of
FMARS and enhance the facility’s
equipment, enabling it to support an effective one-year mission, which will require
wintering at the station through six months of deep sub-zero temperatures. Phase 2 will be the one-year simulated Mars
of the MA365 program are estimated at $130,000 for Phase 1 and $1,000,000 for
Phase 2. As Mars Society President Dr.
Robert Zubrin explained, “The Mars Society has already received a $30,000 cash pledge,
as well as the free loan of the services of two Arctic-capable aircraft and
their expert pilots, worth (at least) $50,000 to support the mission. Thus we now have in hand $80,000 of the
$130,000 necessary to fully accomplish MA365 Phase 1, and therefore we are
starting the program. We still need,
however, another $50,000 if we are to complete Phase 1 this summer, which has
to happen in order to initiate Phase 2 in 2014. Therefore I am calling on
everyone who wishes to see human explorers on Mars in our time to contribute
whatever you can now to make this bold plan a reality.”
continued; “The Mars500 mission recently completed in Moscow achieved
much good scientific data and attracted worldwide attention. MA365 will go much further. We will also deal with isolation issues, but
instead of sitting safe and sound in a nice warm room in the middle of a city, our
crew at FMARS will be required to conduct a sustained program of geological, microbiological
and climatological field exploration in a cold and dangerous remote environment
while operating under many of the same constraints that a human crew would face
is only under these conditions,” Zubrin continued, “where the crew is trying
hard to get real scientific work done, while dealing with bulky equipment,
cold, danger, discomfort, as well as isolation, that the real stresses of a
human Mars mission can be encountered, and the methods for dealing with them mastered. It is
only under these conditions that all sorts of problems that Mars explorers will
face can be driven into the open so they can be dealt with. Only by doing these missions can we make ourselves ready to go to Mars. Nothing like this has ever been done before. It needs to be done, and we intend to do it."
the goals of the MA365 Phase 1 mission will be to refit and better insulate the
hab, build an equipment storage shed and add two new generators, a thermal
heating system, four all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), four snowmobiles (skidoos), a
weather station, a ham radio station backup com system, a small electric range
and an upgraded lab. Those contributing
$5,000 or more will be given the right to name any one of the 16 aforementioned
major units (the hab was named after Flashline.com in July 2000) as they
choose, on a first come, first choice basis. Please indicate your top three preferences with your donation.
carry the fundraising for the MA365 mission, the Mars Society is making use of
the online fundraising system Crowdtilt. Those wishing to donate online are kindly asked to visit our Crowdtilt page. In addition, those interested in contributing by
check should send their donation to The Mars Society, 11111 W. 8th Avenue, unit
A, Lakewood, CO 80215.
donations to the Mars Society, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization,
are tax deductible. Our organization’s federal
tax ID number is 31-1585646. Please express your support for Mars exploration by giving generously.
complete report on the MA365 Phase 1 mission will be given by members of its
crew at the 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention, August 15-18,
2013 at the University of Colorado in Boulder. For more information about this year’s Mars Society convention,
including registration details, please visit our web site.
Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin and other space experts will be speaking at the Starship Century Symposium on May 21-22 at the University of California at San Diego's Qualcomm Institute to discuss the long-term challenges and opportunities for humanity in space.
During the symposium, a special 'Starship Century: Towards the Grandest Horizon' anthology will be available in limited edition. In it, top scientists and science fiction writers explore the prospects for mankind's future in space, including the development of interstellar spacecraft and interplanetary technologies and economies.
The local FOX News affiliate in Phoenix sent a film crew to visit the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah a few weeks ago to interview and film members of crew 129, better known as 'Team Russia', during their stay in the area.
The special FOX report, which details the Russian crew's two-week field rotation at MDRS, was broadcast yesterday and is now available for viewing online.