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

News & Announcements

  • Google VP Vint Cerf to Discuss Solar System Internet Design at 2015 Mars Society Convention

    Dr. Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, will give a plenary talk about his long-term vision for solar system exploration and the role communications will play in this endeavor at the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 13-16 at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. 

    Widely known as one of the "fathers of the Internet," Dr. Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He has held executive positions at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and on the faculty of Stanford University.

    Dr. Cerf served as Chairman of the Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) from 2000-2007 and has been a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1998. He served as founding President of the Internet Society (ISOC) from 1992-1995. Dr. Cerf is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum, the British Computer Society, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. 

    He currently serves as past President of the Association for Computing Machinery, Chairman of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), Chairman of StopBadWare and recently completed his term as Chairman of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology for the U.S. National Institute of Standards & Technology. In addition, President Obama appointed Dr. Cerf to the National Science Board in 2012. 

    For more information about the 2015 International Mars Society Convention, including registration details, sponsorship opportunities and a list of confirmed plenary speakers and panelists, please click here.

    Posted May 20, 2015, 8:25 PM by M Stoltz
  • Mars Society Mexico to Build Mars Analog Hab

    Senior members of Mars Society Mexico announced yesterday that the chapter will be building its own Mars Analog Research Station in the mountain desert region near Perote in the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz. Intended for a crew of four, the new facility will be a compact horizontal cylinder in design and will be called Humbolt Station. A three meter diameter by eight meter long prototype has already been built.

    Meeting with members of the media during a press conference and accompanied by Mars Society (U.S.) President Dr. Robert Zubrin, MS Mexico leaders Jorge Benitez Rodriguez and Omar Pensado Diaz also said that Mars Society Mexico will be sending a crew to the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah during the 2015-16 field season to participate in a two-week Mars analog simulation.

    [R.Zubrin - third from right]


    Posted May 17, 2015, 9:07 AM by M Stoltz
  • MDRS Wraps Up 2014-15 Field Season in Utah
    Today marks the official conclusion of the 2014-15 Mars Desert Research Station field season in southern Utah. 

    Crew 154 spent the past three weeks on site filming an independent movie, turning over the MDRS habitat to Mars Society staff earlier today. 

    The next field season will commence in mid-October 2015 and run through mid-May 2016. 

    Visit our MDRS Facebook page for more details in the future, and please extend a heartfelt congratulations to our MDRS mission support team for a great season "on Mars."
    Posted May 16, 2015, 7:41 PM by M Stoltz
  • ISS Director Sam Scimemi to Address 2015 International Mars Society Convention

    Sam Scimemi, Director for International Space Station (ISS) at NASA Headquarters within the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, will

    address the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, August 13-16, at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In this role, Mr. Scimemi’s duties consist of ensuring safe and productive ISS operations and utilization; implementing policy and programmatic direction; and communicating progress and issues with the White House and Congress. 

    Mr. Scimemi has been a leader in human spaceflight for 28 years. His experience spans human space flight, earth and space science as both a contractor and civil servant. His background includes development and testing of complex space systems, and real-time operations. He has been employed at four NASA centers; Johnson Space Center, Ames Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, and Headquarters. His career has encompassed the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), and NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) programs. 

    He is a native of Louisiana and has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from McNeese State University. 

    For more information about the 2015 International Mars Society Convention, including registration details, sponsorship opportunities and a list of confirmed plenary speakers and panelists, please click here.

    Posted May 15, 2015, 6:33 AM by M Stoltz
  • MSL Deputy PI to Report on Mars Habitability during 2015 Mars Society Convention

    Dr. Pamela G. Conrad, an astrobiologist and mineralogist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Deputy Principal Investigator for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, will talk about the potential habitability of the planet Mars at the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, August 13-16, at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

    Dr. Conrad also serves as Investigation Scientist for Sample Analysis being carried out by the MSL rover on the Martian surface. Her extensive field experience revolves around characterizing the edges of the habitable zones in deserts (both polar and temperate). Since her involvement with MSL, she has become interested in the measurement of the noble gases and what they can tell us about planetary evolution and differentiation. 

    Working at the Planetary Environments Laboratory in Greenbelt, Maryland, Dr. Conrad has been involved for the past several years in the development of approaches and measurements for assessing the habitability of planetary surface environments. Her planetary science interests include the comparative early evolution of Earth and Mars and the measurement of habitability potential on rocky bodies in the solar system. 

    Dr. Conrad received all of her degrees (BA Music, MM Music, M Phil Geology, PhD Mineralogy) from George Washington University, and she was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. 

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

    Posted May 10, 2015, 8:42 AM by M Stoltz
  • India’s Growing Space Program to be Examined at 2015 Mars Society Convention

    Dr. Bharath Gopalaswamy, Acting Director of the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center, will give a talk about the fast-paced growth of India’s space program at the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, August 13-16, 2015, at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He will review Indian plans for robotic and human exploration of space, space security and possible U.S.-Indian space cooperation. 


    Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, Dr. Gopalaswamy managed the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he oversaw developing projects on space security and South Asia. He has held research appointments with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and Cornell University's Judith Reppy Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. 

    Dr. Gopalaswamy holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with a specialization in numerical acoustics from Trinity College, Dublin. In addition to his studies abroad, he has previously worked at the Indian Space Research Organization's High Altitude Test Facilities and the EADS Astrium GmbH division in Germany. 

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

    Posted May 6, 2015, 7:21 AM by M Stoltz
  • Misdirection on Mars (Op-Ed)
    By Dr. Robert Zubrin
    SpaceNews.com, 05.04.15

    In the history of warfare, it has sometimes been the practice of armies to dress themselves in the uniforms of their adversaries and then commit atrocities in order to discredit the other side. Alternatively, such falsely uniformed war criminals have placed themselves among opposing forces, so that, posing as friends, they could misdirect them to their doom.

    It is in this tradition that O. Glenn Smith and Paul Spudis, two die-hard opponents of Mars exploration, recently chose to costume themselves as advocates in their Commentary “Mars for Only $1.5 Trillion” [March 9, page 19], which is designed to make a feasible enterprise appear utterly unfeasible.

    The mission plan claimed to be necessary by Smith and Spudis starts with the nonsensical idea that someone would use a monstrosity the size of the International Space Station for a disposable Mars mission transit vehicle, and continues with the conceit of saddling each and every Mars mission with the full development and several decades-long manufacturing, launch and on-orbit assembly program of the ISS. On the basis of this, they calculate that a “ballpark cost for the first human Mars mission in 2035 would total $230 billion” and “if we send nine crews to Mars, the total bill would be in the neighborhood of $1.5 trillion.”

    To get a grasp of how absurd these estimates are, one need only point out that current and recent NASA budgets have been around $18 billion, including a human spaceflight budget of about $4 billion. So what Smith and Spudis are claiming is that sending nine flights to Mars would cost NASA’s full budget for the next 80 years, or the entirety of its human spaceflight budget for 375 years. 

    To read the full article, please click here.
    Posted May 4, 2015, 10:46 PM by M 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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"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)

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