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!   

Apollo Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Lays Out Plan for Mars Colonization in Talk at CU-Boulder

posted by M Stoltz

By Sarah Kuta
Denver Post, 03.03.15

Just like President John F. Kennedy challenged America to land on the moon before the end of the 1960s, so too can some new leader inspire the future of space exploration on Mars, Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin believes.

Aldrin, 85, spoke before a packed house Tuesday at Macky Auditorium on the University of Colorado's Boulder campus.

"America must be the world leader in human space flight," he said. "There is no other area that clearly demonstrates American innovation and enterprise than human space flight."

Aldrin made history with Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969, when the two men became the first humans to step foot on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission. In total, they spent 21 hours on the lunar surface gathering 46 pounds of moon rocks. Some 600 million people watched the historic scene on television.

To read the full article, please click here.

Mars Desert Research Station Crew 149 - Final Report

posted Feb 23, 2015, 9:04 PM by M Stoltz

Crew 149 brought together a diverse, professional crew of individuals from Belgium, Canada, Japan, Romania, and the United States.  Each of the members of our crew is dedicated to supporting the exploration and colonization of Mars.

During our two-week rotation at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), we demonstrated that even a group of ordinary people can be capable of rising to meet the challenges presented by a Martian analogue simulation.  Indeed, within the first 72 hours of our rotation, we experienced a propane leak, heavily degraded communications, loss of power for 24 hours, water rationing, heavy winds, and clogged plumbing.  I am pleased with the matter-of-fact way that my crew  reacted to these challenges.  These were not problems: These were opportunities for us to demonstrate our resilience and resourcefulness.

Our main goal during our time at the MDRS, however, was to make a contribution to the growing body of knowledge that will one day make it possible to establish a permanent human presence on Mars. Crew 149 conducted the following research projects during our rotation:

EVA construction materials and techniques

Crew 149 constructed a 24' diameter dome structure with a trapezium framework and heavy-duty plastic sheeting exterior.  The individual framing poles were connected to cross and “t” fittings by means of clevis pins and retaining pins. The dome held up very well to the wind, but the unseasonably warm weather was its undoing.  The dome was very effective at retaining heat inside, and the internal temperature reached a point at which some of the PVC components softened and sagged.  After the tensile balance of the dome was compromised, the wind pressure on the dome caused one side to slump inward.  Crew 149 salvaged the dome by removing the outer covering and the lowest ring of vertical supports and relocating the dome to an area more sheltered from the wind.  The dome framework survived several more days before Crew 149 took it down to make room for other projects.

To read the full report, please click here.

Mars on Earth? What Life Is Like on the 'Red Planet’

posted Feb 23, 2015, 9:00 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Feb 23, 2015, 9:00 PM ]

By Kellie Gerardi, 02.18.15

Just beyond the faintest cellular signal in the Utah Desert, dwarfed by rock formations stained red from millennia of iron oxide dust, a white cylinder emerges. This is the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), one of the world's few analog Martian habitats, where a variety of national space agencies and scientists can simulate in situ resource utilization and analog Martian field research. 

Most recently, the prototype laboratory has brought together me, Belgian NASA Ames researcher Ann-Sofie Schreurs, Canadian educator Pamela Nicoletatos, American Medevac pilot Ken Sullivan, German trauma surgeon Dr. Elena Miscodan, American lawyer and locally-elected public official Paul Bakken, and Japanese microbiologist Takeshi Naganuma. Together, we are MDRS Crew 149, immersed in a complete spaceflight simulation, living and working in an analog Martian environment. 

We come from vastly different backgrounds and research areas, but our pilgrimage to the Martian habitat was predicated on the belief that space settlement is an achievable goal in our lifetimes. And we share a desire to help achieve that goal. 

To read the full article, please click here.

[Image: The Mars Society]

Mars Society Facebook Page Surpasses 14K "Likes"

posted Feb 23, 2015, 8:54 PM by M Stoltz

We're pleased to announce that the Mars Society's official Facebook page has just surpassed 14,000 "Likes", continuing the organization's effort to reach out
via social media to help educate people about the importance of Mars exploration and creating a permanent human presence on the Red Planet. Visit our Facebook page and get involved!

Mars Desert Research Station Crew 148 - Final Report

posted Feb 13, 2015, 9:23 PM by M Stoltz

The following is the final report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 148. A complete review of this year's activities 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 open.

= Build on the MDRS simulation experience by enforcing additional parameters. This included no social media, except for the crew journalist (necessary for public outreach), personal emails coming “in batch” twice a day, no or very little junk food like candy bars, and stick to a daily work-out.
= Gain valuable experience in analog simulations and testing.
= Function efficiently and smoothly as an international crew.
= Learn from each other’s background and personal experience.
= Communicate on our experience to a broad international audience with various media (daily blog posts, bi-weekly mini YouTube videos, daily articles in a French newspaper, a video podcast) to increase general public awareness on space research and exploration.

To read the full report, please click here.

Mars Desert Research Station Crew 147 - Final Report

posted Feb 13, 2015, 9:20 PM by M Stoltz

The following is the final report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 147. A complete review of this year's activities 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 open.

Team ISU has successfully closed out their first rotation at MDRS, comprised of two weeks of intense research, team building and simulation training on Mars. Our team of highly motivated scientists, engineers and thinkers from around the world were well prepared for a variety of contingencies and dealt extremely well with water conservation, limited supplies and with the absence of a functioning GreenHab for additional biology research.
Our team holds unique graduate degrees from the International Space University Masters and Space Studies Programs. This distinguished university has provided all of us with a shared life experience that has shaped our collective careers in the space industry. We share a passion for space research, engineering, architecture, mission design and exploration that unites us as a tightly bonded team of space adventurers.

To read the full report, please click here.

MDRS Documentary to be Screened at Two International Film Festivals

posted Feb 10, 2015, 4:59 AM by M Stoltz   [ updated Feb 10, 2015, 9:40 AM ]

A new documentary film entitled “To Mars”, describing the challenges facing crew members of the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in
Utah, has been selected for screening at two prominent international film festivals - Academia Film Olomouc, a science documentary film festival held in the Czech Republic, and GeoCinema, a film festival organized by the European Geosciences Union and held in Austria. 

The documentary about life at MDRS was filmed and edited by Flip Køubek and Tereza Pultarová, members of Crew 135 stationed “on Mars” in February 2014.

To view the new MDRS documentary on YouTube, please click here.

Mock Mars Mission Starts Saturday in Utah Desert

posted Feb 7, 2015, 6:17 PM by M Stoltz

By Mike Wall, 02.06.15

A simulated Mars mission kicks off Saturday (Feb. 7) in Utah, and its seven crew members hope the experience helps them prepare for a real Red Planet expedition a decade from now.

All seven explorers — who will spend two weeks at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), near the Utah town of Hanksville — are astronaut candidates for the Mars One project, which aims to launch four pioneers to the Red Planet in 2024 as the vanguard of a permanent colony.

"It’s not a coincidence that the whole crew is comprised of Mars One candidates — that was by design," said crew member Kellie Gerardi, business development specialist at California-based aerospace firm Masten Space Systems.

To read the full article, please click here.

Get Involved in the 2015 Mars Society Poster Contest!

posted Jan 30, 2015, 7:55 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Jan 31, 2015, 8:17 PM ]

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, 2015 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: 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]

2015 Mars Society Convention to be Held in Washington, D.C.

posted Jan 13, 2015, 2:52 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Jan 13, 2015, 5:24 PM ]

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: (e-mail submissions are preferred).

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