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As part of its effort to promote public understanding about the importance of exploring the planet Mars and the need to establish a permanent human presence there, the Mars Society is pleased to announce the launch of a new monthly blog called “Red Planet Bound”.  Hosted on the Mars Society’s web site, the new online column is being written by Evan Plant-Weir HBSc, co-founder of The Mars Society of Canada. A passionate and long-time advocate of space exploration, Evan is… READ MORE >

By Lawrence Klaes, Guest Writer, The Mars Society If there is one highlight among many that the Twenty-First Century can be noted for when it comes to space exploration, it is as the era when the automated rover really took off – and all over – the planet Mars. At this moment, there are three functioning multi-wheeled explorers making their way across different parts of the Red Planet, their suites of instruments gleaning what they can about their new homes… READ MORE >

RED PLANET BOUND by Evan Plant-Weir International collaboration in space is an important catalyst for the growth of our species. Not only does is bolster our total scientific and economic productivity as a planet, but it also constitutes an important mechanism for our transition into a more planetary-minded people. Humanity is fumbling through its adolescence. We grapple with the messy contradictions found at the intersection of our violent past, and our aspirations for the future. We have matured enough as… READ MORE >

By Evan Plant-Weir, Senior Writer, Red Planet Bound Blog Space exploration is not just about gathering data. By and large, the last few hundred days on Earth are not going to be remembered fondly. Few will recall the COVID-19 years with a sense of happy nostalgia. Ultimately, however, this time won’t be entirely defined by the beating we took at the hands of a pandemic. Despite the many tragedies and challenges therein, we still managed to pull off some pretty… READ MORE >

By Evan Plant-Weir, Red Planet Bound Blog 02.24.21 Humanity has some unfinished business with the Moon. The lunar surface has fallen back into the realm of the remote and unfamiliar for too long. The Apollo landings kindled a dream of an expansive, space-faring future for our species, and that vision continues to inspire us nearly a half century later. Though we have sustained an ember of that dream through crewed missions to the International Space Station, it diminishes a little… READ MORE >

Senior ManagementDr. Robert Zubrin, PresidentJames Burk, Executive Director Kent Nebergall, Chairman, Steering Committee Michael Stoltz, Director, Media & Public Relations Dr. Shannon Rupert, Director, MDRSKevin Sloan, Director, University Rover ChallengeCarie Fay, Director, Administration, TreasurerRaksha Kammandore Ravi, Chapters CoordinatorFrank Crossman, Chief Archivist Mars Desert Research Station ManagementDr. Shannon Rupert, Director, MDRSDr. Robert Zubrin, President, The Mars SocietyDr. Jonathan Clarke, Director, Crew ResearchDr. Peter Detterline, Director, Observatories/Astronomy Team CoordinatorScott Davis & NorCal Chapter, SpacesuitsDavid Murray, GreenHab ManagerGael Mariani, CapCOM CoordinatorBernard Dubb, CapCOM… READ MORE >

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the Utah NASA Space Grant Consortium has approved a $5,000 grant request to fund an educational project called “Spaceward Bound Classroom: Bringing Mars to Utah Students,” which focuses on developing a series of labs in a box with engaging science experiments that can be shipped to Utah classrooms when visiting the organization’s Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah is not an option for students. Led by MDRS Director Dr. Shannon Rupert,… READ MORE >

The next Red Planet Live video podcast will include a lengthy chat with Dr. Reut Sorek Abramovich, an astrobiologist & educator at the Dead Sea & Arava Science Centre in Israel, co-founder & former chief scientist for Israel’s D-MARS space analog program, and co-founder & current chairperson of Israel’s Mars Society chapter, on Sunday, May 8th (4:00 pm PT / 7:00 pm ET). The interview will focus on the search for life on Mars, in our solar system and beyond… READ MORE >

Spaceward Bound is a joint NASA-Mars Society program to train K-12 teachers in how to engage their students in activities that will inspire careers in the space sciences by taking teachers into the field with scientists who are working on space-related research in a given location. First instituted by scientists and researchers at NASA Ames, today researchers involved in that early project are still holding Spaceward Bound field expeditions all over the world. Spaceward Bound Utah is a 5-day workshop… READ MORE >

Imagine that you have been transported 3.5 billion years into the past. Somewhere on a young planet Earth, you find yourself standing by the edge of a warm tidal pool. In it, life has just taken shape for the very first time on this world, and perhaps anywhere. As the result of circumstances that we still do not fully understand, non-living matter has somehow joined together in just the right way to generate a living system. You are witness to… READ MORE >

By Dr. Robert Zubrin, National Review, 12.28.21 On Christmas Day, NASA’s long-awaited James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was finally launched into space. The JWST is, by far, the greatest astronomical observatory ever built. Its primary mirror is 21 feet across, triple that of Hubble, giving it ten times the light-gathering capacity. Add to that the fact that its infrared optics are ten times as sensitive, and the result is a telescope a hundred times as powerful. The discoveries it could make are beyond reckoning…. READ MORE >

Most visiting crews to our Mars Desert Research Station come for a two-week analog mission and consist of researchers, members of academia, or university students. In recent years however #MDRS has opened its doors occasionally to younger groups of would-be Mars explorers, including high school students. Beginning tomorrow (December 9th), a team made up of middle school students from Ogden Preparatory Academy in northern Utah will be participating in a three-day mini-sim on campus. Led by an educator who participated… READ MORE >

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that a special one-hour virtual presentation entitled “Is There Life Out There: Current Biological Research at the Mars Desert Research Station” (MDRS) in Utah will be held during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention on Friday, October 15th from 7:30-8:30 pm PT. A group of four experts led by MDRS Director Dr. Shannon Rupert will highlight several long-term research projects that are being conducted at the MDRS facility, including new research looking… READ MORE >

There is something curious at the heart of Mars settlement cynicism. Some specific, underlying mindset appears to be driving many critics of humans-to-Mars. Paradoxically, an awareness of that mindset can help us better understand the value of our multi-planetary future. Have you noticed it? Their language frequently resonates with a kind of knee-jerk pessimism. It feels like the sort of response usually elicited when somebody is confronted with an idea that they would rather not actually consider. We pull away… READ MORE >

International collaboration in space is an important catalyst for the growth of our species. Not only does is bolster our total scientific and economic productivity as a planet, but it also constitutes an important mechanism for our transition into a more planetary-minded people. Humanity is fumbling through its adolescence. We grapple with the messy contradictions found at the intersection of our violent past, and our aspirations for the future. We have matured enough as a species to see the urgent… READ MORE >

Space exploration is not just about gathering data. By and large, the last few hundred days on Earth are not going to be remembered fondly. Few will recall the COVID-19 years with a sense of happy nostalgia. Ultimately, however, this time won’t be entirely defined by the beating we took at the hands of a pandemic. Despite the many tragedies and challenges therein, we still managed to pull off some pretty remarkable things. Somewhere high on that list is the… READ MORE >

The scope and scale of Mars settlement is so significant that it can defy our intuitions. Generally speaking, thinking about endeavours on this scale does not come naturally to us. Especially for those that are new to the idea, it can feel detached from practical reality. The trick to shrinking this unwieldy concept down into an accessible format, is found by thinking a little bigger. We have to consider it within the broader context of history. In the Northwest corner… READ MORE >

For the past few weeks, an article has been circulating throughout the Mars science and exploration community that serves as a sharp reminder of how much work remains to be done in educating the public (and apparently journalists) on the subject of the red planet. ‘Mars Is a Hellhole’ seemingly aims to characterize the objective of a long term human presence on Mars as folly. By couching scary-sounding Mars factoids within a blatantly ad hominem swipe at Elon Musk, it… READ MORE >

Spaceward Bound Utah to be held at MDRS Analog Spaceward Bound is a NASA-funded program to train K-12 educators in how to engage their students in activities that will inspire careers in the space sciences by taking teachers into the field with scientists who are working on space-related research in a given location. First instituted by researchers at NASA Ames, today scientists involved in that early project are still organizing Spaceward Bound field expeditions around the world. Spaceward Bound Utah… READ MORE >

Humanity has some unfinished business with the Moon. The lunar surface has fallen back into the realm of the remote and unfamiliar for too long. The Apollo landings kindled a dream of an expansive, space-faring future for our species, and that vision continues to inspire us nearly a half century later. Though we have sustained an ember of that dream through crewed missions to the International Space Station, it diminishes a little with every passing year that we do not… READ MORE >

Dr. Shannon Rupert, long-time Director of the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, will give a virtual address entitled “Once a Martian, Always a Martian: Demographics and Stories of the People who have Crewed MDRS” during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18.  She will be sharing an analysis of the demographics of the researchers who have served as crew at the station over the last twenty years and providing some stories about… READ MORE >

A unique team of educators, designated as Crew 217, completed its one-week crew simulation yesterday at the Mars Society’s Utah-based Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), the largest and longest-running Mars analog facility in the world. Funded by the Utah NASA Space Grant Consortium, the NASA Spaceward Bound Utah program serves as a workshop for K-12 teachers to conduct field science under astronaut simulation conditions. This inaugural crew consisted of middle school teachers from Utah, Colorado and Connecticut and was led… READ MORE >

The Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) program, led by Dr. Shannon Rupert, is pleased to welcome our new crews to the Utah campus for the 2019-20 field season. During the course of the year, these dedicated crew members will be participating in important Mars analog research to help prepare human explorers for the challenges of visiting the Red Planet in the not too distant future. The following is the MDRS program itinerary for the coming year: Crew 214… READ MORE >

Among planetary bodies in our solar system, Mars is singular in that it possesses all the raw materials required to support not only life, but a new branch of human civilization.  This uniqueness is illustrated most clearly if we contrast Mars with the Earth’s Moon, the most frequently cited alternative location for extraterrestrial human colonization. In contrast to the Moon, the Red Planet is rich in carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen, all in biologically readily accessible forms such as carbon… READ MORE >

By: Lorena Bueno, Guest Blogger Red Planet Pen (RPP) Blog, Issue #37 Crack open any mid-level science novel from the last 70 years and you’ll find, among fanciful descriptions of grand canals and sand-scattering weather systems, varied descriptions of what’s underfoot (or boot): Martian sand. Regolith, powder, basalt rock, even clay, hint at a time when Mars had enough water and geologic activity to create clay. As we plan our first trips to Mars on Earth with the Mars Desert… READ MORE >