News & Announcements

  • 2015-16 MDRS Crew Applications Now Being Accepted
    The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the 2015-2016 Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) field season application is now available on the MDRS web site

    There are special crew opportunities for this upcoming season. Crew 156 will be an all engineering team, while Crew 170 is open to all veteran MDRS crew members who served on Crews 1-70. Standard fees are waived for both of these crews. We are also accepting crew applications for one, three and four week rotations at MDRS. 

    For more details and a listing of other crew options, please visit the MDRS web site.

    [Image: J.Urquhart]
    Posted Nov 26, 2014, 8:21 PM by Michael Stoltz
  • Donate to the Mars Society via Amazon.com!
    Planning to shop at Amazon.com for the holidays and want to help support the Mars Society and its important work? Then visit Amazon Smile, a wonderful program
    that benefits non-profit organizations and their causes!

    Amazon.com will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible Amazon Smile purchases to the Mars Society! It's a great way to promote Mars exploration and space advocacy during the holiday season!

    To make a donation to the Mars Society via Amazon Smile, please click here. Thanks!
    Posted Nov 25, 2014, 12:16 PM by M Stoltz
  • Mars Desert Research Station Crew 142 - Final Report

    The following is the final report of Mars Desert Research Station Crew 142, which recently completed its nearly two week field rotation at MDRS in southern Utah.

    The 142nd crew rotation at the Mars Desert Research Station has just completed its ten day period in sim as part of the Mars Arctic 365 mission crew selection process. The crew is pleased to report a successful and productive mission in which nearly all of our mission objectives were achieved. 

    During our fifteen days at the hab, Crew 142 mounted a total of 9 in sim EVAs to sample and assess the terrain surrounding the hab for gene mining and to assess feasibility of sea ice and permafrost experiments at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) in northern Canada. We conducted experiments on the usefulness of flying drones to guide EVA activity and perform remote reconnaissance. We also used the greenhab to experiment with using cyanobacteria to convert Martian resources into a form that is suitable for plant growth, and to experiment with Martian soil amendments to determine the viability of growing food on Mars. 

    In addition, as the first crew of the season, we had the task of bringing the hab back online, including not only the expected amount of cleaning and organizing, but also creating inventories, and identifying and addressing a number of significant equipment deficiencies in order to achieve a state where we could conduct a full sim. All of this had to be done in the absence of an up to date operations manual, as the new one is still in the process of being prepared. A number of teething troubles still remained, such as unreliability of some ATVs and a very delicate toilet system.  But these are all issues that could occur on Mars, and were dealt with accordingly. 

    The crew operated in sim from the evening of Tuesday 4th November till the evening of Friday 14th following as faithfully as possible a regimen that would be likely to apply at a human outpost on Mars. This included first aid training and a number of safety drills/rehearsals, scrupulous water discipline (relaxed only where needed to keep the toilet running) and exercises to maintain physical fitness. We also hosted two media visits during our rotation, in addition to local media interviews before and after in France, Germany, Italy, England, and Australia.

    To read the full Crew report, please click here.

    Posted Nov 25, 2014, 5:04 AM by M Stoltz
  • [Video] A Trip to Mars - ABC4 Utah

    A trip to Mars: ABC4 explores a Mars simulation project in southern Utah

    By Tasmin Mahfuz, ABC4 Utah

    ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Ever wanted to visit Mars? ABC4 had an exclusive tour of a Mars simulation space project in Hanksville. Even though Mars is millions of miles away, it's not stopping enthusiasts from their very own martian expedition in southern Utah.

    Six selected strangers from around the world met at the Mars Society Desert Research Station (MDRS) to live as if they're in outer space.

    For two weeks, MDRS Crew 142 worked as a team to identify the challenges that scientists would face if they were actually on martian soil.

    The crew was led by commander Digby Tarvin (Australia) and the lucky applicants joining the space odyssey were Christiane Heinicke (Germany), Dario Paratesh, Italy, Cyprien Verseux (France), Carmel Johnston (USA) and Vincent Coljee (USA).

    To read the full article and view the video, please click here.

    Posted Nov 21, 2014, 6:46 AM by M Stoltz
  • Mars Arctic 365 Finalists Test at MDRS

    Finalist candidates for the Mars Arctic 365 Mission (MA365) are currently participating in field testing and training at the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah as part of the down select process.

    MDRS Crew 142 (at left), commanded by Australian engineer Digby Tarvin, and including (from left to right) engineer Christiane Heinicke (Germany), engineer Dario Paratesh (Italy), Digby Tarvin, astrobiologist Cyprien Verseux (France), environmental scientist Carmel Johnston (USA) and biologist Vincent Coljee (USA), has just completed its two-week visit at the site and has handed the station over to MDRS Crew 143, which will also operate the facility for the next two weeks. 

    MDRS Crew 143 (at right) is led by planetary geologist Paul Knightly (USA) and includes, (from left to right) physicist Claude-Michel Laroche (Canada), aerospace engineer Alexandre Mangeot (France), arctic biologist Paul Sokoloff (Canada), journalist Anastasiya Stepanova (Russia), engineer Ian Silversides (Canada) and Paul Knightly. 

    Reports from Crew 143 will be posted online in English, French and Russian. 

    [Photo taken during pre-sim stage at MDRS]

    Posted Nov 18, 2014, 9:01 AM by M Stoltz
  • [Blog] The Importance of Scientific Literacy to a Human Mission to Mars
    By Nicole Willett
    Red Planet Pen Blog, Issue #31

    I could start this article off with a plethora of statistics and facts about how poorly we are doing in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in the US.  But we all know how poorly our performance has been for several decades.  The fault lies with everyone, not one group of people (ex: teachers or parents) or one political party. We must all bear the responsibility for the downfall of the scientific literacy in our country.  We have all been let down and we are letting our children down.  They have been promised a bright future full of endless possibilities, such as space exploration, humans to Mars, and to the stars.

    To read the full blog, please click here.
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 7:23 AM by M Stoltz
  • Welcome to Mars!

    Crew Arrives "on Mars" to Kick-Off 2014-15 MDRS Field Season 

    The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Crew 142 arrived on Saturday afternoon at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah to begin the 2014-15 MDRS field season. 

    Crew 142, consisting of seven people, is the first of three crews composed of finalists for the planned Mars Arctic 365 mission that will serve at MDRS for two weeks of training and testing. 

    To follow the work of the MDRS crews during their rotating two-week visits involving Mars surface simulation activities and research, please visit the MDRS Facebook page or join the MDRS Twitter feed - @MDRSupdates.

    Posted Nov 2, 2014, 5:41 AM by M Stoltz
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