The Mars Society seeks to educate the public, media and government about the importance of space exploration and the necessity of a strong and sustainable Mars exploration program, including a humans-to-Mars mission in the coming decade. To that end, the organization regularly posts various announcements, releases and articles about ongoing Mars exploration and research, as well as Mars Society news and activities. We welcome any feedback regarding this effort. Thank you!
Society is pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding
with the International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (EU-INTERACT) to use the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island in northern Canada, approximately 900 miles
from the North Pole, as one of the network’s field stations.
FMARS is a
unique Mars analog research station established by the Mars Society in July
2000 to serve as a key element in support of various studies of technologies,
strategies, architectural design and human factors involved in proposed human
missions to the Red Planet. As part of
this, the Mars Society announced on Monday that it is initiating an effort to
conduct a one-year simulated human Mars exploration mission at the FMARS
facility. (Those wishing to support the new FMARS program can contribute online
To lead this
effort with EU-INTERACT, the Mars Society has set up a high-level climate
research team consisting of Dr. Ghassem R. Asrar (World Climate Research
Program/World Meteorological Organization), Dr. Chris McKay (NASA), Dr.
Alexander Kumar (Oxford, UK) and Dr. Bruno D.V. Marino
(Planetary Emissions Management, Inc.). The team is currently discussing the
feasibility of a climate program at FMARS and potential program design.
always been a test bed for Mars analog studies. It makes perfect sense to extend our program to terrestrial climate
research, from which we may discover important clues as to the history not only
of Earth’s climate, but that of Mars as well,” said Mars Society (Acting)
Executive Director Susan Holden Martin.
[Latest News: Mars Society President Dr.
Robert Zubrin will speak publicly about the planning for the new FMARS program
at the 32nd International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in San
Diego, California on Saturday, May 25th at 10:00 a.m.]
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.
[Image: Starship Century]
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.
[Image: FOX News 10]
Chris Voorhees, Vice President of Spacecraft
Development at Planetary Resources, Inc., will speak about NASA’s Mars
Exploration Rover and Mars Science Laboratory missions, as well as current planning for asteroid mining by Planetary Resources at the 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 15-18, 2013 at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Mr. Voorhees has played an integral role in both
the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) projects. He served as Chief Engineer for mechanical
assembly, integration and testing for NASA’s $2.5 billion MSL rover and was
also responsible for the integrated system design of the MSL rover’s mechanical
and structural sub-systems.
At Planetary Resources, Mr. Voorhees leads the
technical team in implementing the detailed design, development, integration
and operation of the company’s spacecraft line of products.
In addition, Mr. Voorhees received NASA’s
Exceptional Achievement Medal for the design and development of the Mars Exploration
Rover’s mobility system. He graduated
summa cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor’s degree
in Mechanical Engineering.
For more information about the 2013 Mars Society Convention, including registration details, speaker list and sponsorship opportunities, please click here.
[Image: Planetary Resources]
By Jason Koebler, U.S. News & World Report, 05.08.13
The head of a planned 2018 flyby of Mars said Wednesday that it's time for humans to "take the first step" toward inhabiting Mars.
Dennis Tito, a multimillionaire and former astronaut, has financed the first two years of the mission, which seeks two people to become the first to come within 100 miles of the Red Planet. Wednesday, at the Humans to Mars summit in Washington, D.C., he said he's sick of waiting for someone else to go there. As he took the stage Wednesday, he pointed to a poster that said "Humans to Mars by 2030," NASA's timeline for a Mars mission, and started talking.
"I can't wait until 2030. That's too long of a time to maintain enthusiasm," he said. "I think if we're going to fly to Mars, we have to do it with a short sprint to show we can do it and then we can take the time necessary to do the whole enchilada, which is boots on the ground."
A sprint, indeed.
Tito's Inspiration Mars mission calls for two people—a married couple, he's suggested—to launch from Earth on Jan. 5, 2018 for a 501 day mission that will orbit Mars. If the 2018 mission is missed, the next launch window wouldn't be until 2031. The date was chosen because Mars is at its closest point to Earth when launched on that day.
To read the full article, please click here.
following is the final report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 129, composed
of scientists and engineers from Russia, which just completed its tour. A full review of this year's activity at MDRS will be given at the 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention, which will be held August 15-18, 2013 at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Online registration is now available.
MDRS Crew 129 (Team Russia) Mission Report
05/03/2013 by Nikolay Dzis-Voynarovskiy
This report will end our 14 days of Mars simulation. Our team was the first
Russian team at MDRS. It is honorable to be the first but leads to some
problems. Initially our crew consists of six specialists – commander, executive
officer, engineer, biologist, geologist and journalist. Getting US visas turned
to be much more difficult task than we expected. Our journalist arrived to MDRS
since four days after the beginning of our rotation. Crew’s biologist still has
no visa. We hope that she will analyze collected data at home.
Our program for research at MDRS included:
- + Test of walking robot prototype
- + Model rocket launches
- + Human factors research
- + Geology research including ‘Water on Mars’
- + Astronomy observations
To read the full report, please click here.
By Buzz Aldrin, CNN News, 05.07.13 Dr. Buzz Aldrin is a veteran Apollo astronaut and the second person to walk on the Moon, as well as a member of the Mars Society's Steering Committee.
We need to get the world excited again about space exploration and have the pioneering spirit to reach beyond our boundaries and current capabilities.
I want a new generation of space explorers to feel as I did when it was my privilege to take part in the Apollo program that landed the first humans on the surface of the Moon. This is important, not only for the USA but for the rest of the world.
Let me tell you why.
The dream of space travel has been a lure of humankind for centuries – to reach for the moon and even the stars.
But it wasn’t until the 20th Century that man took his first powered flight. It was in 1903 on a windy morning over the sands of Kitty Hawk that the Wright Brothers’ Flyer took their first flight, defying gravity. My mother, Marion Moon, was born that same year.
Just 66 years later, Neil Armstrong and I stepped onto the moon’s magnificent desolation, fulfilling the dreams of millions. But it has been over four decades since we walked on the lunar surface and in my view, with too little progress to show for it.
I have always felt Mars should be the next destination following our landings on the moon. I’ve been very vocal about this for a long time. Today the dream of reaching the red planet looks like it is finally getting closer to becoming a reality.
To read the full article, please click here.
Mars Society is pleased to announce that Inspiration Mars Executive Director Dennis
Tito will give a plenary talk at the 16th International Mars Society
Convention, which will be held at the University of Colorado, Boulder, August
15-18, 2013. Inspiration Mars is planning to fly a two-person flyby mission in
2018. Tito’s talk will kick off a special August 16 morning plenary session of
the conference devoted to discussing the mission, during which he will be
joined by other leading members of the Inspiration Mars team. Then, during the afternoon, workshops will be held to form working groups to assist the Inspiration Mars project with engineering support, fundraising, public outreach, and other key areas.
Dennis Tito is a US engineer
and multimillionaire, most widely known as the first space tourist
to fund his own trip into space. In mid-2001, he spent nearly eight days in
orbit as a crew member of ISS EP-1, a visiting mission to the International Space Station. This mission
was launched by the spacecraft Soyuz TM-32,
and was landed by Soyuz TM-31.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Astronautics and Aeronautics
from New York University, 1962 and a Master of
Science in Engineering Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
, received an honorary doctorate of engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute in 2002, and is a former scientist of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he was
involved in designing the trajectories that guided several of the Mariner
probes to Mars and Venus.
In 1972, he founded Wilshire Associates, a leading provider of investment
management, consulting and technology services in Santa Monica, California. Dennis Tito
serves an international clientele representing assets of $12.5 trillion.
Through an arrangement with space tourism company Space
Adventures, Ltd., Tito joined the Soyuz TM-32
mission on April 28, 2001, spending 7 days, 22 hours, 4 minutes in space and
orbiting Earth 128 times. Tito paid a reported $20 million for his trip.
In February 2013, Tito launched Inspiration Mars, and announced his
intention to send a privately financed spaceflight to Mars by 2018.
information about Dennis Tito can be found here. Further
information about Inspiration Mars can be found here.
other prominent speakers addressing a multitude of aspects of Mars exploration
and settlement are lining up for the conference, and will be announced as they
[Image: Crew of Soyuz TM-32. (L-R: Tito, Talgat Musabayev, and Yuri Baturin)
Call for Papers
The 2013 Mars Society Convention will involve scores
of speakers. If you would like to be one of them, please send an abstract
of no more than 300 words to: The Mars Society, 11111 W. 8th Avenue, unit A,
Lakewood, CO 80215 or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
(email submissions are preferred). The deadline for abstract submission
is May 31, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. MDT. Talks on all matters (science, engineering,
politics, economics, public policy, etc.) associated with the exploration and
settlement of Mars will be considered.
is now open for the International Mars Society Convention in Boulder.
Please join us this summer! Also please check our list of confirmed
speakers, as well as convention sponsorship
opportunities for companies and organizations.