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!
Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin will appear on The Space Show on Thursday, March 13 from 7:00-8:30 pm (PDT). The Space Show is one of the leading online science news programs, hosted by Dr. David Livingston.
During the interview, Dr. Zubrin will talk about the Mars Society's Mars Arctic 365 mission and current planning for a human mission to the Red Planet.
The Mars Society is holding the 17th Annual International Mars Society Convention in League City, Texas (right outside Houston near NASA's Johnson Space Center) August 7-10, 2014. The event will bring together key experts, scientists, policymakers and journalists to discuss the latest news on Mars exploration and efforts to promote a human mission to the Red Planet.
Mars Society management is looking for reliable volunteers (age 18 and up) to help us during the four-day convention with registration and other related activities. If you're interested or would like more details about our volunteer options, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)
Crew 137, also known as ‘Team Nippon’, began its two-week field rotation at
the Mars hab facility in the Utah desert on March 1st. The
six-person Japanese team, led by MDRS veteran Dr. Hiroyuki Mirajima, is carrying out a variety of research testing while “on Mars.” This includes the study and
design of Mars habitats, possible cooking methods and hygiene control for
future Mars astronauts and the testing of high mobility exploration on the
Martian surface using EVA equipment.
To follow Crew 137’s work while at MDRS, please visit our Facebook page. Also the Japanese chapter of the Mars Society maintains its own Facebook group page, with regular updates about Crew 137’s activities.
The Mars Society is pleased to
announce the establishment of a new chapter in Egypt, the organization’s first official
presence in the Arab world. Initiated by a group of six engineering students at
Cairo University (CU), the new branch was set up in the most populous Arab country with the goal of
helping promote Mars and space exploration and planning for a human mission to the Red Planet.
The new chapter is led by Hamed
Gamal, a CU student and member of the board of directors of the school’s Space Systems Technology Laboratory (SSTL), a student-run research facility at the
university’s Aerospace Engineering Department. “Setting up a Mars Society
chapter in Cairo will help further Mars and space advocacy and also open up new
horizons for Egypt’s youth by encouraging them to consider space-oriented
fields of study, including science, technology, engineering and math,” said Mr.
Chapter members recently created a Facebook
chapter page and group page, which include Mars-related
postings and information in Arabic and English. A chapter web site is also currently under
development. In addition, Mr. Gamal and several other SSTL students have registered to participate in the Mars Society’s University Rover Challenge this summer in Utah.
“We welcome our new Egyptian chapter
and its members to the Mars Society family. We’re pleased with the growing
international interest in and support for Mars exploration. Establishing a
chapter in Cairo will help spread the word to this part of the globe about the
hopeful future that could be opened by looking outward to space,” said Mars
Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin.
The following is the final mission report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 136. A full review of this year's activities at MDRS will be presented at the 17th Annual International Mars Society Convention, which will be held August 7-10, 2014 at the South Shore Harbor Resort in League City, Texas (outside Houston near NASA’s Johnson Space Center).
This report marks the end of our rotation at MDRS as the 136th crew, Mission to Mars UCL. We had been preparing for a long time, and we were really glad to see this project through. We'll soon go back to Belgium having learned a lot and start the formation of the next crew.
These two weeks were first and for all an excellent life experience. We had worked together for nearly one year getting ready for the mission, but living in such close proximity with all six of us for 15 days was even stranger than we expected. We are all easy going people though so it went without a problem despite the lack of intimacy and personal space.
The semi-finalists for
crew selection for the Mars Society’s Mars Arctic 365 (MA365) mission have been
announced. Chosen from a group of over 200 applicants, the 62 semi-finalists consist
of 49 men and 13 women drawn from 17 countries, including the United States, Canada,
Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Russia,
Ukraine, Bulgaria, Turkey, India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
The 62 individuals
selected represent a wide range of expertise and skills including geological,
biological, medical, aerospace, mechanical and electrical engineering, mechanical trades, journalism and Arctic and wilderness survival training.
list of the selected semi-finalists can be viewed here.
next step in the MA365 crew recruitment will be a process leading to the
selection of 18 finalists. The final 18 will be divided into three crews of six
people each, who will then be sent to the Mars Society’s Flashline Mars Arctic
Research Station (FMARS) on Canada’s Devon Island for two weeks of trial field
testing during the summer of 2014. On the basis of demonstrated performance,
the best crew will then be chosen for further training, leading to the
initiation of the Mars one-year mission beginning in the summer of 2015.
The MA365 mission is an
effort to conduct a one-year simulated human Mars mission in the Canadian
Arctic. The mission will take place at FMARS, a simulated landed spacecraft and
research station "on Mars" built and operated by the Mars Society.
at 75 degrees north and less than 1,000 miles from the North Pole, the Mars
facility is perched on the rim of a 14 mile wide impact crater in the midst of
a polar desert considered one of the most Mars-like environments on Earth.
MA365 will see a crew of six scientists, researchers and explorers conduct a
Mars surface mission simulation for 12 months, including over the harsh,
sub-zero Arctic winter.
conducting this full-scale dress rehearsal of a human expedition to Mars in a realistic
habitat and environment for practically the same duration as an actual mission
to the Red Planet, we will take a great step forward in learning how humans can
work together to effectively explore the new frontier of Mars.
Nothing like this has ever been done
before! You can help make it happen!
is not a spectator sport. If we want to get humans to Mars, everyone needs to pitch
in. The Mars Society recently launched an Indiegogo online campaign to help fund
this historic mission. Please donate generously and spread the word to others!
The Mars Society, the world’s largest space advocacy group dedicated to
the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, launched a special Indiegogo crowd-sourcing campaign today to help fund the organization’s Mars Arctic 365
(MA365) program, a historic one-year simulated human Mars mission in the
Canadian Arctic. The online campaign, scheduled for 60 days, will seek to raise
$100,000 to support this never before attempted Mars research initiative.
The MA365 mission will take place at the Mars Society’s Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), a unique Mars simulation analog and
research facility on Canada’s Devon Island. Situated at 75 degrees north, less
than 1,000 miles from the North Pole, FMARS is perched on the rim of the
Haughton crater in the midst of a polar desert viewed as one of the most
Mars-like environments on Earth.
“The Earth's polar regions are the closest analog to the surface of Mars
that we will find until we actually land on the Red Planet. The Mars Society
has long been the leader in exploiting these regions and is continuing that
tradition with this new initiative. This effort will bring real understanding
to the space exploration community about what it will take to settle human
beings on the surface of Mars,” said Dr. Mike Griffin, former NASA
Past expeditions to FMARS have lasted only a few weeks or months during
the mild Arctic summer, but MA365 will see a crew of six scientists,
researchers and explorers conduct a Mars surface simulation for a full year,
including the harsh, sub-zero Arctic winter. By conducting this program in a
realistic habitat and environment for the same duration as an actual expedition
to the Red Planet, the Mars Society will learn how humans can work together to
effectively explore the new frontier of Mars. Nothing like this has ever
been done before.
A variety of incentives are provided to those supporting the MA365
campaign, ranging from Mars Society and MA365 merchandise to a trip to Devon
Island to visit FMARS and meet with the crew of the one-year mission just prior
to the start of the Mars simulation. Those wishing to contribute to and/or learn more about MA365 are kindly asked to visit our Indiegogo web page.
“This Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign provides a unique opportunity for
members of the public to directly enable and participate in our landmark Mars
Arctic 365 mission,” said Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin. “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!”
The Mars Society is pleased to
announce that 31 student teams from six countries and four continents have
officially registered for the 2014 University Rover Challenge (URC),
setting a new participation record for the annual international rover
competition. Countries represented this year include the United States, India,
Egypt, Poland, Canada and Bangladesh.
A sampling of some of the
participating universities include: Cornell University, Warsaw University of
Technology, Yale University, Cairo University, Częstochowa University of
Technology, University of Michigan, Military Institute of Science &
Technology and York University. To view the full list of schools involved in the
URC, please click here.
Scheduled for May 29-31, 2014, the URC
is the world's premier robotics competition for college students. Held annually in the desert of southern Utah,
URC challenges student teams to design and build the next generation of Mars
rovers that will one day work alongside astronauts exploring the Red Planet.
Launched in 2006, the URC consistently draws an international field of the most
talented and promising science, engineering and computer science students.
"In 2013, we shattered every
previous URC milestone and had our winning team from Bialystok University of
Technology score an almost unthinkable 493 points out of 500. For 2014 our registered field has more than
doubled over last year, and we are eager to welcome many new teams to the
competition. Everybody involved in the
competition is getting excited. 2014 is going to be an incredible year for
URC!", said URC Director Kevin Sloan.
To view regular updates about the URC
competition, please visit our web site or Facebook page.
The following is the final report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 135. A full review of this year's crew activities at MDRS will be presented at the 17th Annual International Mars Society Convention, which will be held August 7-10, 2014 at the South Shore Harbor Resort in League City, Texas (near Houston and close to NASA's Johnson Space Center).
Crew 135 Members:
Commander: Ondřej Doule, Ph.D.
Executive Officer/GreenHab Officer: Lucie Poulet, Ph.D. candidate
Health Officer/Crew Engineer: Filip Koubek, PhDr.
Crew Scientist: Elif Oguz, Ph.D. candidate
Crew Journalist: Tereza Pultarová, M.Sc.
Crew Engineer: Martin Kubíček, Ph.D. candidate
Crew Engineer: Vratislav Šálený, Ph.D. candidate (remove support from LMO)
Crew Introduction: Crew 135 was composed of researchers and enthusiasts with a common interest in analog habitat research and experience. All of them are highly skilled individuals with great emotional intelligence, analytical and conceptual thinking, as well as inter-cultural experience, used to perform in stressful conditions. Although some of them had not met before, the simulation commenced, they showed great team spirit, mutual respect, empathy and developed excellent interpersonal relationships within the team. Despite the fact that one crew member decided to terminate the simulation half way through the mission due to excessive workload and confinement related stress, the rest of the team managed to cope well with the situation.
Mission Objectives: The RAR mission was focused on analyses and upgrades of the MDRS habitat systems and structures. The mission objectives were slightly modified based on MDRS requirements and research capacity in situ. All research experiments were successfully conducted and data processing for all of them will be performed over the coming months.
To read the full mission report, please click here.
The Mars Society is pleased to announce that a new chapter has been established in Mexico. An organizing committee consisting of 20 people has been formed, as well as a Mars Society Mexico Facebook group. A formal founding convention is planned for later this year.
The new chapter was announced during a meeting of 300 Mars enthusiasts in Xalapa, Veracruz, in southeastern Mexico, at which time Mars Society President and Founder Dr. Robert Zubrin gave a talk about current Mars exploration and planning for a humans-to-Mars mission.