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

News & Announcements

  • NASA Expert on 3-D Printing, Niki Werkheiser, to Address 2015 Mars Society Convention

    Niki Werkheiser, NASA Project Manager for the In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) Initiative, will speak at the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention,

    August 13-16, at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In this role, Ms. Werkheiser is responsible for developing the technology roadmap and implementation plans which will result in the manufacturing technologies and processes required to enable on-demand, sustainable operations for Exploration Missions to destinations such as Mars. The ISM portfolio includes the 3D Printing in Zero-G Technology Demonstration payload on the International Space Station, which made history by being the first 3D Printer to manufacture parts in space. 

    Previous to this role, Ms. Werkheiser served as the Project Manager for NASA’s Ares Crew Safety and Reliability Office. Ms. Werkheiser spent the majority of her career in NASA’s Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs Payload Offices where she designed, developed, integrated, and operated multiple NASA payloads. She  works for Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA and is stationed at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.  Ms. Werkheiser’s academic background includes a Master’s degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville with an emphasis in Gravitational and Space Biology, as well as a B.A. in Russian Studies and a B.S. in Biology. 

    For more information about the 2015 Mars Society convention, including registration details and a list of plenary speakers, please click here.

    Posted by M Stoltz
  • MDRS Crew 152-B - Final Mission Report
    The following is the final mission report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 152-B. A complete review of this year's activities and research at MDRS
    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 now available
    .

    Crew 152-B arrived at MDRS on Saturday, April 4, 2015. We received the handoff from Crew 152A. They oriented us; we settled in and began our Mars simulation on Sunday, April 5, 2015.
     
    Our crew members are as follows: 
    Liz Painter—Commander
    Melody Flowers—Commander in Training, Astronomer
    David Moran—Executive Officer, Journalist, Health and Safety Officer
    Arwhil St. Thomas—Engineer, Chemist
    Hannah Burgess—Photographer, Biologist
    Crystal Webster—Geologist

    Monday through Friday of our simulation, we followed a daily schedule of breakfast, engineering rounds, EVA, lunch, work on individual projects, dinner, CapCom reports and on various evenings, an astronomy activity.

    Our first day of simulation was spent orientating to the suits, helmets, packs and ATVs. We rode in two directions to view the land for future EVAs that would be beneficial to the crew member’s projects and to take GPS waypoints of these locations.

    To read the full crew report, please click here.

    Posted Apr 24, 2015, 8:15 PM by M Stoltz
  • NASA Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier to Speak at 2015 Mars Society Convention
    William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration & Operations Directorate, will give a plenary address at the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, August 13-16, 2015 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In his current position, Mr. Gerstenmaier
    provides strategic direction for all aspects of the agency's human exploration of space and cross-agency space support functions of space communications and space launch vehicles.

     
    In addition, Mr. Gerstenmaier provides programmatic direction for the continued operation and utilization of the International Space Station (ISS), development of the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion spacecraft, and is providing strategic guidance and direction for the commercial crew and cargo programs that will provide logistics and crew transportation for the ISS program.
     
    Mr. Gersteinmaier received a Bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University in 1977 and a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo in 1981. In 1992-93, he completed course work for a doctorate in dynamics and control with emphasis in propulsion at Purdue University. In addition, he is the recipient of numerous awards, including three NASA Certificates of Commendation, two NASA Exceptional Service Medals, a Senior NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award, and Distinguish Executive Presidential Rank Award.
     

    For more information about the 2015 Mars Society convention, including registration details and a list of confirmed plenary speakers, please click here.
    Posted Apr 22, 2015, 7:19 AM by M Stoltz
  • Heritage Foundation Expert to Discuss China Space Program at 2015 Mars Society Convention
    Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, will discuss China’s growing space program at the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, August 13-16, 2015 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
     
    Mr. Cheng specializes in China's military and foreign policy, in particular its relationship with the rest of Asia and with the United States. In addition, Mr. Cheng has written extensively on China's military doctrine, technological implications of its space program and "dual use" issues associated with the communist nation's industrial and scientific infrastructure.
     
    He previously worked for 13 years as a senior analyst, first with Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), the Fortune 500 specialist in defense and homeland security, and then with the China Studies division of the Center for Naval Analyses, the federally funded research institute. Before entering the private sector, Mr. Cheng studied China's defense-industrial complex for a congressional agency, the Office of Technology Assessment, as an analyst in the International Security and Space Program.
     

    For more information about the 2015 Mars Society convention, including registration details and a list of confirmed plenary speakers, please click here.
    Posted Apr 17, 2015, 10:12 PM by M Stoltz
  • Andy Weir, Author of “The Martian”, to Address 2015 Mars Society Convention

    Andy Weir, author of the highly-successful science fiction novel, “The Martian”, will address (via Skype) the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention,

    August 13-16, 2015 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. 

    Mr. Weir’s first novel, “The Martian”, was released in 2014 to high acclaim and is currently being made into a movie by 20th Century Fox and Hollywood director Ridley Scott. The film, starring academic award winning actor Matt Damon, is scheduled for a November 2015 release. 

    Mr. Weir was hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at the age of 15 and has been working as a software engineer ever since. A self-described “space nerd”, Mr. Weir has a life-long interest in orbital mechanics, relativistic physics and the history of human spaceflight. 

    For more information about the 2015 Mars Society convention, including registration details, please click here.

    Posted Apr 15, 2015, 7:12 PM by M Stoltz
  • Call for Establishment of MDRS Scholarship in Memory of John Barainca

    The Mars Society and the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Mission Support Staff are calling for donations to help establish the John Barainca MDRS

    Memorial Scholarship, which will be used to subsidize teachers who participate as crew members in the MDRS program. 

    Having passed away recently, John (1935-2015) was one of the founding members of the Mars Society and a dedicated supporter of the MDRS analog simulation. He played a major role in establishing MDRS by helping select its location in southern Utah and working as part of the team that set up the station. 

    John also served as long-time Hab manager at MDRS, volunteering countless hours to repair and improve the station, manage its field seasons and train its crews. In addition, he was part of the MDRS astronomy team. 

    “John was a true believer in the potential of the Mars Desert Research Station to teach and inspire crew members, ranging from educators to students to scientists,” said MDRS Remote Science Team Coordinator Dr. Jean Hunter. 

    Please help honor the memory of a great person and an indispensable part of the Mars Society and its mission for more than a decade by contributing today to the John Barainca MDRS Memorial Scholarship. 

    Those who wish to submit words of condolence to John's family or extend a kind word of gratitude for his work on behalf of the Mars Society, please email: RememberingJohn@marssociety.org

    [Image: Gary Becker]

    Posted Apr 6, 2015, 7:48 AM by Michael Stoltz
  • 23 Student Teams Advance to 2015 University Rover Challenge Finals
    In December, 2014 a record 44 teams from eight countries set out to design and build the world’s top Mars rover. Now 23 teams have advanced past the Critical
    Design Review stage of the Mars Society's University Rover Challenge (URC) and will compete in the final competition, being held May 28-30, 2015 at the Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah.
     
    The 2015 rendition of this competition, URC 2015, is the first time that teams faced a competitive down-selection process prior to the field event. Competition judges reviewed technical reports and video submissions from each of the teams that passed a previous Team Proposal round, all of whom had made significant technical progress.
     
    The final field was originally planned for 22 teams, however the competition for these spots was so close that judges were forced to open a 23rd slot.

    To read the full announcement, please click here.
    Posted Apr 4, 2015, 6:52 PM by Michael Stoltz
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*Upcoming Events*
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18th Annual International 
Mars Society Convention
August 13-16, 2015
Washington D.C.
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PREPARING HUMANITY FOR MARS
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.

View from MDRS

A crew member exploring the Mars-like
terrain during an EVA near the Mars 
Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah.

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.


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