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!
A snowy first day "on Mars" courtesy of crew 131 at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah.
The Mars Society is pleased to announced the beginning of the 2013-14 Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Field Season, with crew 131 from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University arriving earlier today at the Mars hab in southern Utah. A chilly start to the field season has the MDRS facility covered in snow and ice with temperatures well below freezing. Enclosed please find the first Commander Report (Crew 131) written by Chelsea Iwig:
Commander Report (12/07/13)
Crew 131 arrived on Mars today after a long journey from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. Upon arrival the crew immediately began settling into their rooms, cleaning the Hab and organizing the laboratory and upstairs living area. Two crew members went to get the food and supplies for the crew’s two-week stay on the Red Planet. Once the supplies were brought back, they were inventoried and organized in the upstairs cabinets. Currently, the crew is finishing up making dinner and writing reports.
Tomorrow Crew 131 will be officially entering sim (simulation) after some outdoor orientation activities and a crew photo. The crew will also be making all final preparations for the studies they will be conducting while on Mars. These studies include a usability study on an aeroponics device that was built by students in the Human Factors undergraduate program at Embry-Riddle as well as a usability study on a pair of space suit gloves provided by a private space suit design company called Final Frontier Design.
Additionally, the crew will be conducting an exercise study looking at the effect of exercise on stress and mood as well as a sleep pattern study looking at how the crew’s sleep patterns change when in an isolated and confined environment. Finally, the last study will involve testing out a variety of behavioral questionnaires to determine which are best for monitoring crew function and cohesion. Data collection for these studies will begin on Monday.
Overall, the crew is settling in to their new home for the next two weeks and is excited to begin their research. The crew is also eagerly awaiting the opportunity to explore Mars in their first EVA, which will be on Monday.
For regular updates about our MDRS crews and their research, please visit the MDRS Facebook page. Also consider joining our MDRS Twitter feed: @MDRSupdates.
Dr. William J. Clancey, a senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) [and a founding member of the Mars Society], has won the 2014 Gardner-Lasser Aerospace History Literature Award, given by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). It comes for his latest book, "Working on Mars: Voyages of Scientific Discovery with The Mars Exploration Rovers."
The Gardner-Lasser Award honors the best original contribution to the field of aeronautical or astronautical historical non-fiction literature published in the last five years, and dealing with the science, technology and/or impact of aeronautics and astronautics on society.
By Nicole Willett
Red Planet Pen, Issue #25
A lot of media coverage has occurred over the past several months regarding sending humans to Mars. Many people get the proposed missions mixed up and sometimes facts are falsely reported. This blog is an attempt to focus on a few of the organizations/companies that have serious Mars proposals underway. The Mars Society feels strongly that sending humans to Mars is a top priority for our civilization and we wish good luck to all missions that are being proposed. In 1990, Dr. Robert Zubrin, President and founder of The Mars Society, and David Baker proposed a mission called Mars Direct to NASA. Zubrin later published his book titled The Case for Mars, where he expanded on the details of the mission. The mission involves a series of launches. First, a spacecraft lands on Mars first without human occupants. This craft is the Earth Return Vehicle (ERV) and it will act a fuel manufacturing station in order to provide fuel for the future human explorers to return to Earth. The Habitat Unit (HU) will arrive with a crew of 4 humans approximately 26 months later. There will be many ERV’s and HU’s sent to the Red Planet in succession. An ERV will be fueled and ready at all times and the HU’s will be interconnected in order for a larger and larger living space to be available for the increasing number of human occupants. Human exploration and settlement of Mars is the mission of The Mars Society. Zubrin states, “The time has come for humanity to journey to the planet Mars. We’re ready. Though Mars is distant, we are far better prepared today to send humans to the Red Planet than we were to travel to the Moon at the commencement of the space age. Given the will, we could have our first crews on Mars within a decade.”
“We are much closer today to being able to send humans to Mars than we were to being able to send men to the Moon in 1961, and we were there eight years later. Given the will, we could have humans on Mars within a decade." - Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin The Mars Society, more than any other space advocacy group, is leading the way in promoting Mars exploration and planning for a human mission to the Red Planet. Help us continue our work in 2014 by making a donation today! Thank you!
[The Mars Society is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to responsible and transparent financial management. All donation to the Mars Society are tax deductible (in the US).]
Mars exploration was front and center in Europe late last month during a very successful convening of the 13th Mars Society European Conference (EMC13). The international forum was held October 25-27 at the Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Avancées (IPSA), a private French postgraduate aerospace engineering school in the Paris area.
More than 70 people attended the three-day convention, with participants from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and the United States. High-level presentations were given by scientists involved in ongoing Mars missions and representatives of leading space agencies, including ESA, CNES and NASA.
Several Mars Society European chapters also presented lectures on Mars related topics, as did Mars Society (U.S.) President Dr. Robert Zubrin.
To read a full report about the EMC13, please click here.
Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin discussed the need for U.S.-Russian cooperation on Mars exploration and planning for a human mission to the Red Planet during an interview yesterday on The John Batchelor Show, a leading WABC News radio program. Dr. Zubrin recently visited Moscow to promote humans-to-Mars and encourage international cooperation. He also published an opinion piece on the subject in USA Today and in a leading Russian newspaper. To listen to the interview with Dr. Zubrin, please click here. [The interview begins at 19:00.]
[Image: Zubrin (left) in Russia]
In 2004, a group of thirteen major
space advocacy groups, including the Mars Society, joined together under the Space Exploration Alliance (SEA) to have their voices heard in Washington, D.C. The first SEA "Legislative Blitz" brought together 76 space advocates from around the country. They converged on
Capitol Hill and visited over 200 congressional offices to express support for NASA and space exploration.
The 2014 SEA Legislative Blitz comes
at a time when the U.S. space program is at a serious crossroads, both in terms
of funding and direction. A recent Congressional Budget Office report
actually suggested shutting down America’s human space flight program. The
voices of the space advocacy community must be heard now as perhaps never
before. SEA participants will call upon Congress to ensure that our
nation’s leadership in space exploration will remain a national priority.
Come join space advocates from around
the country to let members of Congress know that there is strong constituent
support for an ambitious U.S. space program. You will find this experience to
be exciting and rewarding. There will be an informational/training session held on
Sunday, February 23rd, followed by meetings on Capitol Hill on Monday, February
24th and Tuesday, February 25th.
This event will not be successful
without your help! Please JOIN US from February 23-25, 2014, so that
YOUR voice can be heard. See you in Washington, D.C.
To learn more about how you can get
involved with the Mars Society’s efforts to educate members of Congress about
the importance of Mars and space exploration, please visit our new Political
Advocacy web page or contact James Wolff, the Mars Society's Political Advocacy
A coalition of pro-Mars organizations in Russia will be co-sponsoring a meeting and discussion on the planning for a human mission to the Red Planet on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 (11:00 - 17:30) at the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow. The meeting is open to the public.
Participating in the meeting will be Mars One’s Bas Lansdorp, the Mars Society’s Dr. Robert Zubrin (via Skype) and representatives from a number of Russian organizations and companies, including Dauria Aerospace, Mars-Tefo, Mars500, Cosmofest and the Space Generation Advisory Council.
For more details, including a program itinerary, please click here (Russian to English translation available on Google Chrome).
By Irene Klotz
Space News, 11.21.13
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA intends to include an in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) experiment on its new Mars rover that would pull carbon dioxide from the planet’s atmosphere, remove dust and other contaminants and prepare the gas for chemical processing into oxygen.
Depending on what scientists propose for the Mars 2020 rover’s instrument package, a solicitation that closes in January, the ISRU technology demonstration also could include actual oxygen production.
“Our primary focus, at least for this demonstration, is separation [of carbon dioxide] because that’s absolutely essential to test and know that we can pull that off,” on Mars, said James Reuther, deputy associate administrator of programs in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.
The space agency is interested in small, low-power, highly efficient machines that could handle Mars’ variable pressure and temperatures, dust levels, atmospheric conditions and seasonal changes. One flight-certified prototype already exists. The Mars ISRU Precursor (MIP) was planned for NASA’s 2001 Mars Surveyor Lander, but the mission was canceled.
To read the full article, please click here.