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10 Teams Selected as Finalists for International Gemini Mars Design Competition

Viewing a lack of direction in the U.S. human spaceflight program, the Mars Society launched the International Gemini Mars Design Competition in August 2015 in an effort to provide focus and encourage a serious humans-to-Mars initiative. The new contest invited U.S. and international engineering students to create a plan for a two-person Mars flyby mission that could be placed on the desk of the President-elect in November 2016 and completed by the end of his or her second term in… READ MORE >

MDRS Field Season Comes to a Close

The 2015-16 Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) field season officially came to a close this weekend as Crew 169 (Team Peru IV) departed the Mars Society habitat in Utah. The next field season begins in September, one month earlier than usual. New crews, including our Mars 160 mission participants, will use MDRS to train and prepare for humans-to-Mars. As always we want to thank our tremendous Mission Support team for their hard work over the course of the season. Without… READ MORE >

2016 Mars Society Poster Contest Winner Announced

The Mars Society is very pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Mars Society Poster Contest. After reviewing over a dozen design submissions, a committee made up of senior Mars Society staff selected a poster created by Bill Wright, a freelance science fiction illustrator, as the first place winner. Design artists were asked to create a poster that uses the theme “Mars: A Mission for the Next Administration, Not the Next Generation,” for the 19th Annual International Mars Society… READ MORE >

Jim Green to Discuss NASA’s International Cooperation at Mars at 2016 Mars Society Convention

Dr. Jim Green, Director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, will address the U.S. agency’s current and future plans for international cooperation and partnership on exploring the planet Mars at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 22-25 at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Green began his NASA career in 1980 at Marshall Space Flight Center’s Magnetospheric Physics Branch where he developed and managed the Space Physics Analysis Network (SPAN). From 1985 to 1992 he served as… READ MORE >

SpaceX Announces Plans for Dragon Mission to Mars

By Jeff Foust, SpaceNews, 04.28.16 WASHINGTON — SpaceX announced April 27 it plans to send an uncrewed Dragon spacecraft to the surface of Mars as soon as 2018 on a technology demonstration mission aided by expertise, but not funding, from NASA. The company said it planned to launch a Dragon 2 spacecraft dubbed “Red Dragon” to Mars on a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle as soon as the next launch window for Mars missions, which opens in the spring of 2018…. READ MORE >

2016 Mars Society Convention to Receive Updates about Kepler & Webb Telescopes

Two senior scientists involved with the Kepler Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope will present timely updates about the two observatory missions at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 22-25 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Dr. Paul Hertz, Director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division Science Mission Directorate, will discuss the latest news from the troubled Kepler observatory spacecraft, launched in 2009 with the goal of discovering Earth-size planets orbiting other stars…. READ MORE >

MDRS Crew 167 (Lonestar Highlanders) – Final Mission Report

The following is the final report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 167. A full review of this year’s activities at MDRS will be given at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, which will be held September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The call for papers can be viewed on the Mars Society web site. MDRS Crew 167 (April 3-17, 2016) – End of Mission Summary McLennan Community College (TX) sent two… READ MORE >

Mars Society Appoints Vice President for Development

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Michael Stoltz, who currently serves as the group’s Director of Media & Public Relations, has been appointed Vice President for Development. In this role, Mr. Stoltz will be responsible for the organization’s fundraising activities, including major gifts, grant writing, corporate sponsorship, planned giving and direct mail. With 15 years of non-profit fundraising experience, Mr. Stoltz has worked for several colleges in the U.S. as a senior development officer, as well as in… READ MORE >

NASA’s Jennifer Eigenbrode to Present MSL-Curiosity Mission Update at 2016 Mars Society Convention

Dr. Jennifer L. Eigenbrode, a NASA researcher, will give a plenary talk about the Curiosity-MSL rover mission and efforts to investigate possible bio-signatures on the surface of the Red Planet at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, to be held September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Working at Goddard Space Flight Center’s Planetary Environments Laboratory as a bio-geochemist and geologist with an interest in astrobiology, Dr. Eigenbrode is part of the research team working with MSL’s… READ MORE >

Record Number of Applications for European Rover Challenge 2016

60 teams have registered for the Third Annual European Rover Challenge (ERC). They hail from 12 countries, including Canada, Italy, Poland, Peru and the U.S. The final round of the competition will take place in Jasionka, Poland, September 10-13, 2016. In addition to participating in this major Mars rover competition, one of the main cores of the Rover Challenge series sponsored by the Mars Society, teams this year will participate in a mentoring workshop, according to ERC Director Lukasz Wilczynski…. READ MORE >

Mars Society Chapter Head Gary Hareland Dies after Illness

The Mars Society is saddened to announce the passing of Fredrick Gary Hareland, the founder and head of the organization’s China Lake-Upper Mojave Desert chapter, after a long illness. Known to Mars Society staff and friends as “Gary”, he was a strong advocate of a human mission to the planet Mars, as well as human spaceflight in general. Gary approached the Mars Society in September 2012 about the possibility of setting up a local chapter in the China Lake-Ridgecrest area… READ MORE >

Mars Society to Launch Mars 160 Twin Desert-Arctic Analog Missions

The Mars Society is pleased to announce a new mission, Mars 160, using both of the organization’s analog research stations. This program will involve the same seven person crew doing similar science operations for the same period of time – 80 days – initially at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah in the fall of 2016 and then continuing at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) in northern Canada in the summer of 2017. The multi-national… READ MORE >

MDRS Crew 166 – Final Mission Report

The following is the final mission report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 166 (Mission to Mars UCL). A full review of this year’s MDRS activities will be presented at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, to be held September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Stationed at MDRS from March 19th thru April 3rd, Crew 166 consisted of six students from the UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain), a Belgian university. It was… READ MORE >

ExoMars Project Manager Don McCoy to Address 2016 Mars Society Convention

Don McCoy, Project Manager of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars 2016 mission, will present a full update about the spacecraft’s journey to the Red Planet and long-term mission at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, to be held September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Scheduled to arrive at the planet Mars this October, this first part of the ExoMars program, consisting of an orbiter and lander, will search for gases in the Martian… READ MORE >

12 Teams Propose Designs for Int’l Gemini Mars Competition

The U.S. human spaceflight space program is currently adrift. It needs a goal, and that goal should be sending human explorers to Mars in our time. In order to help provide such direction and get a serious humans-to-Mars program underway, the Mars Society launched the International Gemini Mars Design Competition in August 2015, which would create a plan for a two-person Mars flyby that could be placed on the desk of the President-elect in November 2016 and completed by the… READ MORE >

Mars Society Veteran Penny Boston Selected NAI Director

The Mars Society would like to extend its congratulations to Dr. Penelope Boston on her recent selection as the new Director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute (NAI), a California-based body that plays a major role in performing astrobiology research, as well as providing scientific leadership for astrobiology space missions. While a graduate student at the University of Colorado in Boulder, [then Ms.] Boston was one of the founders of the Mars Underground and helped organize a series of conferences called ‘The… READ MORE >

MDRS Crew 165 (Teams Tharsis II & Nippon) Files Final Mission Report

The following is the final mission report of Mars Desert Research Station Crew 165. A full review of this year’s activity at MDRS will be presented at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The call for papers for the conference can be viewed at the Mars Society web site. Crew 165 – Team Tharsis II & Team Nippon (March 5-20, 2016) Preface The MDRS crew… READ MORE >

Mars Society Stands with Belgium & Crew 166

The Mars Society, its staff and membership wish to extend their thoughts and prayers to the people of Belgium following today’s horrific terror attacks in Brussels. The two incidents in Belgium hit close to home for part of the Mars Society family, with Crew 166 (Mission to Mars UCL), made up of six Belgian university students, currently working at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. The crew was notified of the attack this morning by MDRS Program Director Shannon… READ MORE >

30 Student Teams Advance to 2016 URC Semi-Finals

In December 2015, a record 63 teams from 12 countries set out to design and build the world’s top Mars rover as part of the University Rover Challenge. Now 30 teams have advanced past the Critical Design Review (CDR) stage of the URC contest and will participate in the field competition, being held June 2-4, 2016 at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah. The 2016 rendition of this contest, URC2016, introduces the first ever Semi-Final round… READ MORE >

Mars Society Reaches Facebook Milestone

Guess what!! The Mars Society’s official Facebook page just topped 20,000 “Likes”, showing the growing public support of the group and its goal of exploring Mars and creating a permanent human presence on the Red Planet. The organization and its staff want to thank everyone who has visited the Facebook page and helped reach this important social media milestone. On to 30,000!!  … READ MORE >

France’s MDRS Crew 164 Files Final Mission Report

The following is the final report of Mars Desert Research Station Crew 164. A full review of this year’s MDRS activity will be given at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. MDRS Crew 164 Final Report February 21 – March 5, 2016 Website: http://mdrssupaerocrew.com/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/mdrssupaero Twitter: @MDRSSupaeroCrew Crew 164, the MDRS Supaero Crew is comprised of six students from ISAE-Supaero, a leading Aerospace Engineering school… READ MORE >

Register Today for the 2016 Mars Society Convention

Register Today for the 2016 Mars Society Convention Early Bird Ticket Prices Are Now Available Online registration for the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention is now open! Scheduled to be held at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. from September 22-25, the Mars Society conference will provide a major platform for leading scientists, policymakers, government officials, entrepreneurs and journalists to discuss the significance of the latest scientific discoveries, technological advances and political-economic developments that could open the… READ MORE >

MDRS Hosts Two Fox News Media Visits

With public interest in Mars exploration and a human mission to the Red Planet growing, due in part to the success of 20th Century Fox’s movie, “The Martian”, with Matt Damon, two Fox News crews visited the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah in late January. Fox 13 (Salt Lake City) and Fox 31 (Denver) sent reporters and film teams to the MDRS habitat to learn more about the Mars Society program and the activities of the… READ MORE >

2016 Mars Society Poster Contest is Underway

We Need Your Creativity and Involvement! The Mars Society is looking for fun, creative design submissions for its annual poster contest, with the winning entry to be used as the primary promotional graphic for the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. When designing a poster, participants are asked to incorporate the main theme of the Mars Society convention into their layout. This year’s theme will be:… READ MORE >

Mars Desert Research Station Crew 161 (Team Skoltech) Issues Final Report

The following is the final report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 161. A full review of this year’s activity at the MDRS habitat will be presented at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled to be held September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. A call for papers for the 2016 convention has also been issued, with full details available on the Mars Society web site. MDRS Crew 161 Final Report Crew… READ MORE >