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!   

Sign Up for 2015 University Rover Challenge

posted Oct 20, 2014, 9:36 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Oct 20, 2014, 9:36 PM ]

Registration is now open for the Mars Society's 2015 University Rover Challenge (URC). Declare your team's intent to compete in the world's premier robotics competition for college students by December 5, 2014. 
For full details about the registration process, please visit the URC web site.

Humans to Mars as a Bridge to the Stars

posted Oct 2, 2014, 5:40 AM by M Stoltz   [ updated Oct 2, 2014, 5:42 AM ]

By Nicole Willett
The Eerie Digest, 10.01.14

Becoming a space faring civilization is the goal of millions of Earthlings. If one pays attention to the universe around him, it is impossible to deny its breathtaking humility. We long to explore, to expand, to go out and touch a piece of another planetary body. This longing is what encouraged NASA and their supporters to stand behind the Apollo missions to the Moon.   President John F. Kennedy said, “We choose to go to the Moon not because it is easy… but because it is hard.” We are on the verge of a new millennial space race. On September 16, 2014 NASA announced the human return to space. They are utilizing Boeing and SpaceX to accomplish this. SpaceX and many others have plans to send humans to Mars. The interest in exploring and settling the Red Planet is obvious.   The first true plans to go to Mars were analyzed in 1948 and published in the 1950’s by Dr. Werner von Braun. 

To read the full article, please click here.

Mrs. Willett is the Director of Educational Outreach for the Mars Society.

Mars Arctic 365 Mission Finalists to Test at MDRS

posted Sep 26, 2014, 5:05 AM by M Stoltz   [ updated Oct 8, 2014, 7:49 AM ]

Twenty one finalists have been selected for possible participation in the Mars Society’s Mars Arctic 365 (MA365) mission. These finalists have been divided into three crews of seven persons each and will be sent to the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah for further training and to gain data for the remaining selection process that will lead to the choice of the final six-person crew to perform the MA365 mission (the final crews have been enlarged from six to seven to allow for the selection of alternates).

The MA365 finalist crews will constitute MDRS crew 142 (Nov. 1-16, 2014), crew 143 (Nov. 15-30), and crew 144 (Nov. 29-Dec. 14). They include scientists, engineers, writers, doctors, military officers and outdoor adventurers drawn from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Finland, Russia, Japan, Australia, and Brazil. Their names and areas of expertise are enclosed in the table below.

Congratulations to all the MA365 finalists!

First Name

Last Name


City, Country



Ph.D Biochemistry, Molecular Biologist

Watertown, MA USA




Ph.D Engineer/Writer/Mountaineer

Erfurt, Germany




Engineer/Mechanic/Wilderness skills

Kuopio, Finland




Environmental Science Field Research

Whitefish, MT USA




Astrobiology Ph.D Candidate






Bedfordshire, UK/ Australia

commander              142             



Engineer, Adventurer, Athlete

Rome, Italy





Westminster, CO USA




Planetary Geologist

Phoenix, AZ USA

commander              143              



Aerospace Engineer

Merignac, France




Arctic Biology Field Work

Ottawa, ON Canada




Physicist & Military

St-Bruno, Quebec, Canada




Masters in Mechanical Engineering & Survival Training

Ste_Madeleine Quebec, Canada





Moscow, Russia




Electronic Engineer & Mountaineer

Tuscon, AZ USA

commander              144  



Studying to be MD, Ph.D Candidate in Snow & Ice Geophysics

Helsinki, Finland




JPL IT Engineer

Pasadena, CA USA




Survival Instructor/Biomedical Antarctic Research/Mt. Fuji Research

Yokohama, Japan




Army Officer & Chemist

Clarksville, TN USA



de Morais Teles

Geologist & Physicist

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil




MD, Human Factors Scientist

USA and UK


MA365 is a plan to simulate a one-year Mars human surface exploration mission in the Canadian high Arctic. The mission will take place at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), a simulated landed spacecraft and research station built and operated by the Mars Society on Canada’s Devon Island. Situated at 75 degrees north, less than 1,000 miles from the North Pole, the FMARS facility is perched on the rim of a 14 mile diameter meteor impact crater in the midst of a polar desert known as one of the most Mars-like environments on Earth.

The MA365 mission crew will conduct a program of field exploration, while operating under many of the same operational constraints as an actual Mars mission. In the course of doing this, crew members will learn a great deal about which methods, technologies and tactics will work best on the Red Planet. Furthermore, they will do this while dealing with the stresses that come not only from isolation, as the Mars500 crew experienced, but also cold, danger, hard work and the need to achieve real scientific results, and thus truly begin to explore the critical human factor issues facing Mars exploration. By conducting this full-dress rehearsal of a human Mars exploration expedition in a realistic habitat and environment for 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 it has ever been done before.

Image: T.Gagnon

India's First Mars Probe Makes Historic Red Planet Arrival

posted Sep 23, 2014, 8:22 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Sep 23, 2014, 8:26 PM ]

The Mars Society congratulates India and its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) for successfully reaching the Red Planet, joining the growing family of nations
currently exploring Mars and laying the ground-work for humanity's next step into the solar system.

By Mike Wall,, 09.23.14

India has joined the Mars club.

India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) probe was captured by the Red Planet's gravity at 10:11 p.m. EDT Tuesday (Sept. 23; 0211 GMT and 7:41 a.m. Indian Standard Time on Wednesday, Sept. 24), making India's space agency just the fourth entity — after the United States, the European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union — to successfully place a spacecraft in Mars orbit. 

The MOM probe, which is named Mangalyaan (Sanskrit for "Mars Craft"), executed a 24-minute orbital insertion burn Tuesday night, ending a 10-month space journey that began with the spacecraft's launch on Nov. 5, 2013.

To read the full article, please click here.

Image: ISRO

2014-15 MDRS Field Season Itinerary Released

posted Sep 8, 2014, 7:30 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Sep 8, 2014, 7:46 PM ]

The Mars Society released over the weekend the official itinerary for the 2014-15 Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) field season, scheduled to take place at
the MDRS simulation facility in southern Utah from November 1, 2014 - May 23, 2015. 

The upcoming Mars simulation rotation will run six weeks longer than usual due to growing demand from scientists, teachers and graduate students to work on Mars-related science and research projects at the Mars Society's Utah station. 

For regular updates about MDRS and its crews, please visit the program's Facebook page.

+ Nov. 1 - Nov. 16  MDRS Crew 142 - Mars Arctic 365 - Team Finalist #1 (organized by Dr. Robert Zubrin)
+ Nov. 15 - Nov. 30  MDRS Crew 143 - Mars Arctic 365 - Team Finalist #2 (organized by Dr. Robert Zubrin)
+ Nov. 29 - Dec. 14  MDRS Crew 144 - Mars Arctic 365 - Team Finalist #3 (organized by Dr. Robert Zubrin)
+ Dec. 13 - Dec. 28  MDRS Crew 145 - Mars without Borders (commanded by Dr. Susan Jewell)
+ Dec. 27 - Jan. 11  MDRS Crew 146 - Mars Society Crew (commanded by Nick Orenstein)
+ Jan. 10 - Jan. 25  MDRS Crew 147 - Team ISU (commanded by Romain Charles)
+ Jan. 24 - Feb. 8  MDRS Crew 148 - Team RAR 2 (commanded by Lucie Poulet)
+ Feb. 7 - Feb. 22  MDRS Crew 149 - Tharsis Project (commanded by Paul Bakken)
+ Feb. 21 - Mar. 15  MDRS Crew 150 - Team Peru (organized by Dr. Alex Diaz)
+ Mar. 14 - Mar. 29  MDRS Crew 151 - International Emerging Space Leaders - Students from the U.S., France and Canada (commanded by Jamie Guined)
+ Mar. 28 - Apr. 12  MDRS Crew 152 - Lonestar Highlanders
+ Apr. 11 - Apr. 26  MDRS Crew 153 - Mission to Mars UCL (commanded by Bastien Mathurin)   
+ Apr. 25 - May 17  MDRS Crew 154 - TBD (3 week rotation)
+ May 16 - May 23  MDRS Crew 155 - Mars Medical Analog Team (1 week rotation - commanded by Dr. Sarah Blythe-Ballard)

The Future Looks Bright!

posted Sep 7, 2014, 9:46 AM by M Stoltz   [ updated Sep 7, 2014, 9:47 AM ]

Two young Marsonauts participating this weekend in the combined 2014 European Mars Society Conference and European Rover Challenge in Poland. The Mars Society Polska chapter did a wonderful job organizing both events! For more details about the two events, please click here.

[Video] Dr. Robert Zubrin Discussing 'Mars Direct' at NASA Ames Research Center

posted Sep 6, 2014, 11:03 AM by M Stoltz   [ updated Sep 6, 2014, 11:21 AM ]

Achieving a human mission to Mars has been a fascination of humanity for some time. In the 1990s, Dr. Robert Zubrin proposed the "Mars Direct" mission architecture, using conventional rockets and Mars in-situ resources to establish a sustained human presence on Mars. Now, with the nation debating how to proceed with human space exploration, the "Mars Direct" plan is more relevant than ever: Can Americans reach the Red Planet in our time?

Dr. Zubrin, President & Founder of the Mars Society, spoke recently in detail about the "Mars Direct" initiative at the Director's Colloquium Summer Series, presented by the Office of the Chief Scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center as part of the Center's 75th anniversary celebration.

To watch the full video, please click here.

Large Turnout for 2014 European Mars Society Convention & Rover Challenge

posted Sep 6, 2014, 10:38 AM by M Stoltz

Hundreds of people are currently attending the 2014 European Mars Society Conference and European Rover Challenge, taking place September 5-7 in
Kielce, Poland. 

Those participating include scientists, policy experts and government officials, as well as student rover teams from four continents and a large contingent of the Polish public. 

For updates and more information, please visit:

Youth Rover Challenge Recruiting Students for 2014-15 Competition

posted Aug 31, 2014, 6:15 AM by M Stoltz   [ updated Aug 31, 2014, 9:08 AM ]

After a very successful inaugural competition earlier this year, the Mars Society's Youth Rover Challenge (YRC) has begun recruiting students (grades 5-12) to participate in the 2014-15 STEM/robotics educational program. 

If you, your school or someone you know is interested in getting involved, please visit the YRC web site for more details ( Thanks!

A Poem about the Mars Society

posted Aug 28, 2014, 3:42 PM by M Stoltz   [ updated Aug 28, 2014, 3:43 PM ]

Thanks to Miguel Cooper, a friend of the Mars Society, for writing this great acrostic poem about the organization, its mission and the goal of human-to-Mars!

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