News & Announcements

  • Get Involved in the 2015 Mars Society Poster Contest!
    The 2015 Mars Society Poster Contest is now underway! The winning design will be used as the primary promotional graphic for the 18th Annual International
    Mars Society Convention, to be held at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., August 13-16, 2015. 

    When designing a poster, participants are asked to kindly incorporate the following theme of the upcoming 2015 convention into their layout, that being: “Mars in Our Time.” 

    The winning designer will receive free admission to all sessions at the Washington, D.C. convention, including one ticket to the main Mars Society banquet.  [Please note that airfare and hotel accommodations are not included.] 

    The deadline for submitting poster designs is Saturday, February 28, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. MDT. 

    With regard to technical requirements for the contest, the poster size should be 11" x 17". There are no restrictions on color. If your poster is selected, in addition to the full color poster the artist will need to submit a gray-scale copy. 

    Poster designs can be submitted as a .pdf file, although it is preferred in the original format (i.e., Photoshop). To submit your poster, please e-mail the sample to: postercontest@marssociety.org. Please also use this e-mail address for any questions regarding the contest or the submission process. 

    Use of Image: Artist gives permission to The Mars Society to use digital images(s) of art work in online and print media. 

    Poster Contest Disclaimer: The Poster Contest Artist, by submitting an application, agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless The Mars Society from and against any and all claims, demands or expenses (including attorney’s fees) for libel, slander, invasion of privacy, infringement of copyright, personal injury, damages, or any other claims, demand or expenses resulting from performance in connection with this agreement.

    [Image: The 2014 Mars Society Poster Contest winner]

    Posted by M Stoltz
  • 2015 Mars Society Convention to be Held in Washington, D.C.

    The Mars Society will hold its 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention on the beautiful tree-lined campus of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., August 13 - 16 (Thursday thru Sunday). All primary convention events will take place at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center (better known as "The Pryz").

    This major four-day conference will bring together leading experts, scientists, engineers, policymakers, government officials, entrepreneurs, historians, philosophers and journalists to discuss the significance of the latest scientific discoveries, technological advances and political-economic developments that could pave the way for the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, by either public or private means.

    For more information about the upcoming Mars Society convention, including registration details, sponsorship opportunities and volunteer requirements, please visit our convention web site page.

    Call for Papers

    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 30, 2015 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).

    Posted Jan 13, 2015, 5:24 PM by M Stoltz
  • University Rover Challenge Welcomes Protocase, Inc. and Record Field of Teams

    The Mars Society's University Rover Challenge (URC) is excited to announce a new partner, Protocase, Inc., a world leader in custom electronic enclosures and

    sheet metal parts.  This announcement comes just weeks after registration for URC2015 closed with a record 44 teams from eight countries on six continents.

    The unique sponsorship deal with Protocase will be the first ever that provides products and services to every single team registered in the competition.  Each URC team will receive a $2,000 (USD) credit towards custom parts manufactured by Protocase, and a subsequent 50% discount on all products/services beyond this amount.

    As a manufacturer of customer-designed components, Protocase works with Computer Aided Design (CAD) models supplied directly by the customer. URC teams will be required to attend a virtual "webinar" hosted by Protocase that describes the design requirements, and explains their process in detail. Details regarding this webinar will be sent to teams at a later time, and will be available both live, and in an archived format.

    To read the full announcement, please click here.

    Posted Jan 10, 2015, 9:23 PM by M Stoltz
  • Mars Desert Research Station Crew 145 - Final Report
    Mission Summary Report

    MarsWithoutBorders Crew 145


    MarsWithoutBorders (MWOB) Expedition 1, Crew145 was a group of international, interdisciplinary and intercultural team of scientists, engineers, space physicians and artists. Our aim was to create and test capabilities related to enable future Human Missions to Mars. To that end, MWOB conducted its first expedition at the Mars Desert Research Station with Crew 145 led by Crew Commander, Susan Jewell MD, a veteran MDRS Analog Astronaut (as the HSO for Crew134 and a finalist for MA365 Artic competition as HSO /Journalist for FMARS MA365 Crew144). Crew 145 comprised of Crew Engineer/ Robotics, Matteo Borrei, XO/Crew Scientist, Michal Czapski, and HSO/Greenhab Officer, Julielynn Wong MD.

    From the very start of the mission the overwhelming obstacles, the large number of projects, and reduced size of the crew challenged the team to its limits both physically and mentally. The original crew of seven members was reduced to four which increased the physical and operational workloads and tasks planned for a larger team. These overwhelming odds played against our mission success during the two week expedition.  Additionally, Dr Jewell completed two prior consecutive weeks in simulation and first to conduct a back-to-back mission when she took commandership of MDRS Station as Crew145 from Crew144 on 13th December 2014.

    However, the collaborative, collective team work and effective reorganization and restructuring of the internal schedules and re-allocation of project payloads, redistribution of roles and responsibilities permitted strong bonding and crew cohesion to enable completion and the ultimate success of the mission. Furthermore, the successful collaborations with remote teams of scientists and space organizations supported the crew to fully engage in the multiple approved scientific, medical, psychological, robotics and technological studies along with several social media public outreach and space art projects during the expedition.

    To read the full mission summary, please click here.
    Posted Jan 10, 2015, 9:24 PM by M Stoltz
  • [Blog] The Curious Case for Methane on Mars
    By Nicole Willett
    Red Planet Pen Blog
    Issue #32

    On December 16, 2014 at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, a panel of scientists working on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover data
    announced what we have all been waiting decades to hear.  John Grotzinger stated unequivocally, “…there is methane occasionally present in the atmosphere of Mars and there are organics preserved in (…) rocks on Mars.”

    Why is this important?  All life on Earth that we have discovered so far is carbon based, aka organic.  Carbon is found in the DNA of all life forms on Earth.  Carbon can bind with many other elements to form thousands of molecules that are involved in biological processes.  Needless to say, finding organics and methane is a game changer for all of science, from astronomy to zoology.  Organics in general refer to molecules that are often found as components of life.  We know from studying life forms on Earth that methane is a common organic molecule that is a waste product of bacteria and macro organisms.  In fact approximately 90% of Earth’s methane has a biological origin.  However, about 10% of methane on Earth is a result of geological activity.  According to author Jeffrey Bennett from the University of Colorado, Boulder, “The amount of methane in the atmosphere appears to vary regionally across Mars, and also seems to vary with the Martian seasons.  This has led some scientists to favor a biological origin (…) if the source is volcanic (…) the amount of (…) heat necessary for methane release [could] be sufficient to maintain pockets of liquid water underground.”  Pockets of liquid water would be conducive to life.

    To read the full blog, please click here.
    Posted Jan 5, 2015, 9:09 PM by M Stoltz
  • Happy New Year from the Mars Society
    Posted Dec 31, 2014, 11:50 PM by M Stoltz
  • MDRS GreenHab Destroyed by Fire

    The Mars Society regrets to announce the loss of the Mars Desert Research Station’s Fisher GreenHab to an accidental fire yesterday afternoon (Dec. 29th). There were no injuries to Crew 146, the four-person team currently using the MDRS facility outside Hanksville, Utah.

     

    According to a Mars Society spokesperson, the Mars habitat, which includes crew work stations and living quarters, did not sustain any damage, with the fire being limited to the GreenHab. Acting quickly, crew members were able to safely put out the fire.

     

    The Fisher GreenHab was the second GreenHab built at the Utah station. An earlier prototype structure was lost during the first MDRS field season due to heavy winds. It served as a model for the second generation GreenHab, a larger and more permanent unit built by Gary Fisher in 2003.

     

    For five seasons, the facility functioned as an experimental closed loop water recycling system, but testing ceased when it was concluded that the system was too small to maintain the Habitat with six full-time crew members.

     

    In 2009 the GreenHab was refitted for use as a greenhouse. Under the direction of GreenHab Coordinator Nick Orenstein, it was successfully utilized for three seasons to grow crops for the MDRS crews. A variety of important experiments were scheduled to be carried out in the GreenHab during the current 2014-15 field season.

     

    “We plan to erect a new GreenHab as soon as possible in order to conduct these critical research projects. With the help of our membership and friends, I’m confident the Mars Society will be able to raise the necessary funds to replace the GreenHab in the very near future,” said MDRS Director Shannon Rupert.

     

    To contribute to the Mars Society’s “Rebuild the GreenHab” Fund, please click here.

    [Image: Nick Orenstein/The Mars Society]
    Posted Jan 28, 2015, 5:45 PM by M Stoltz
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**Upcoming Events**
________________________________________

2015 Space Exploration 
Alliance Legislative Blitz
February 22-24, 2015
Washington, D.C.
________________________________________

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.

A Quote to Remember


"You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."

-- Christopher Columbus

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