Honeybee Robotics VP to Discuss Martian Water Drilling at the 2018 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Kris Zacny, Vice President and Director of Exploration Technology Group at Honeybee Robotics, will give a plenary talk about plans for drilling for water on the surface of Mars at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center. A 13-year veteran of Honeybee Robotics, Dr. Zacny is a leading expert in terrestrial and extraterrestrial robotic drilling, excavation, sample handling and processing, geotechnical… READ MORE >

NASA Planetary Scientist to Review Mars Rover Missions at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Abigail Fraeman, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will provide a detailed review of several Mars rover missions, including Curiosity and Opportunity, and planning for Mars 2020 at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA. Her experience with NASA missions to the Red Planet are extensive, having served as Deputy Project Scientist for the Mars Exploration… READ MORE >

JPL Mars Helicopter Chief Engineer to Address Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Bob Balaram, Chief Engineer for the Mars Helicopter project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will give a plenary talk at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA. Now slated to fly on aboard NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission, the Mars Helicopter is a small, autonomous rotorcraft that will demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red… READ MORE >

University Rover Challenge Title Returns to Poland

The University Rover Challenge (URC) awarded the title of World’s Top Mars Rover to the PCz Rover Team from the Czestochowa University of Technology in Poland on June 2.  The 2018 rendition of URC hosted 35 rovers and more than 500 students from ten countries at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah.  URC is an annual Mars Society competition which asks college students to design and build the world’s best Mars rover. The defending champions from 2017,… READ MORE >

Winner of 2018 Mars Society Poster Contest Announced

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2018 Mars Society Poster Contest is Bill Wright of Maryland (U.S.). The selection committee received over two dozen design submissions this year for review. Graphic artists were asked to submit a poster using the theme “Mars & The Space Revolution” for the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center. As always, the winning design will be used by the… READ MORE >

Louis Friedman to Discuss Political History of Humans-to-Mars at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Louis Friedman, a prominent scientist, author and co-founder of The Planetary Society, will give a plenary talk about the political history of the humans-to-Mars effort at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center. The address will focus on the attention that planning for human Mars exploration has received from past U.S. administrations ranging from President Nixon to the present. As the… READ MORE >

Final Mission Report – MDRS Crew 195

MDRS Crew 195 Final Mission Report Commander Dana Levin 25.05.18 The latest iteration of our Martian Medical Analogue Research Simulation course went extremely well. Our crew seemed to enjoy the simulations and clearly learned a lot about aerospace medicine, the Martian environment and operational procedures throughout the course. We continue to be grateful to the Mars Society for the opportunity to use this facility and all the resources it offers in our educational efforts. The major challenged we encountered were… READ MORE >

WE DID IT!! MarsVR Kickstarter Reaches Its Funding Target!!

Thanks to your help, we are very happy to announce that late last night the Mars Society reached (and surpassed) its MarsVR Kickstarter goal of $27,500!!  There are new stretch goals available to boost our MarsVR project and its scope even further, with a few days still remaining in the Kickstarter campaign. If we raise $35,000, we will increase the amount of terrain we will have in the Phase 1 virtual environment by 25%. That means instead of one square… READ MORE >

Liquid Water on Mars (Mars Society’s Red Planet Pen Blog)

By Nicole Willett (Mars Society Education Director) Red Planet Pen Blog (Issue #39) Introduction Scientists have carefully studied and tracked the history of water on the Red Planet.  It is now widely accepted due to the geomorphological evidence that Mars had an ocean of liquid water billions of years ago.  This ocean covered the northern hemisphere. This is indicated by the lower altitude of the surface, smoother and geologically newer surface of the northern hemisphere, as opposed to the higher… READ MORE >

NASA Kilopower Chief Designer to Speak at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. David Poston, the chief designer of NASA’s new Kilopower space nuclear power reactor, will give a plenary talk to the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, which will be held at the Pasadena Convention Center, August 23-26, 2018. The Kilopower project is a near-term technology effort to develop preliminary concepts and technologies that could be used for an affordable fission nuclear power system to enable long-duration stays on planetary surfaces, including… READ MORE >

A Message from Dr. Robert Zubrin regarding the MarsVR Program

Hello Everyone, Virtual Reality and the creation of VR tools to support the human exploration of Mars is a strategic focus of The Mars Society. We intend to demonstrate the potential of VR to allow millions of people to directly participate in Mars exploration. Our VR tools will support the training of our crews at the Mars Desert Research Station, promote STEM education, and will help instill broad public support of human Mars exploration. To this end, we have established… READ MORE >

Call for Volunteers for Sirius Mission

The Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP), jointly with Human Research Program NASA (HRP NASA), will be conducting an extended duration lunar mission simulation at its facility in Moscow in 2019 and 2020. The mission, known as Sirius, will involve a crew of six, including three Russians and three non-Russians. IBMP has  asked the Mars Society to recruit the three non-Russian crew members. The mission duration will be four months during 2019 and eight months in 2020. Crew members will need to be available… READ MORE >

Advice to the New NASA Administrator

Demand a Purpose-Driven Space Program On April 19, 2018, Jim Bridenstine was finally confirmed as the new NASA administer, taking over the agency after more than a year (arguably more than nine years) of leaderless drift. Now that the one-time Navy pilot and Oklahoma congressman has had a few weeks to settle into his office and see what is going on, I feel it is an opportune time to offer some advice. So here it is: Dear Administrator Bridenstine; Congratulations… READ MORE >

Mars Society Convention to Receive TESS Update from Project Manager Jeff Volosin

Always keeping an eye on the sky beyond the Red Planet, the Mars Society is pleased to announce that Jeffrey Volosin, Project Manager of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), will provide the upcoming 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention with a full update on the new mission to search for exoplanets. Launched last month, the TESS spacecraft is expected to monitor more than 200,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits, with… READ MORE >

Finalists Chosen for Red Eagle Student Engineering Contest

The finalists have been selected for the Mars Society’s Red Eagle International Student Engineering Contest. The competition, open to student engineering teams from around the world, is to design a lander capable of delivering 10 metric tons of payload to the Martian surface. Out of 15 teams entering, five have now been selected to compete in the final round before a panel of distinguished judges on Saturday, August 25th at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, which is being… READ MORE >

Mars Society Chapter Opens in Ukraine

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that a new international chapter – Mars Society Ukraine – was officially established today during an inaugural meeting in Kiev. Approximately 20 people gathered to hear Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin address the group (via Skype) about current planning for human Mars exploration. For more details about Mars Society Ukraine, please visit the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marssocietyua…. READ MORE >

A Call to Former MDRS Crew Members

The Mars Society has welcomed approximately 1,000 crew members to its Mars Desert Research Station in Utah over the past 15 (+) years. Many former crew members have obviously moved on to other schools, institutions and companies in pursuit of their professional careers and research goals.   We’re in the process of updating our MDRS crew alumni list and would appreciate any former crew member reading this announcement to reach out to us to provide your current contact information (name,… READ MORE >

FAR-Mars Society Student Rocket Launch Contest Held in Mojave

Over the weekend the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) and the Mars Society held an exciting student rocket launch competition at the FAR launch site in California’s Mojave Desert. Announced last year, the rocket contest invited college engineering teams from around the world to compete for $100,000 in prizes, with the two $50,000 awards going to the student teams that get closest to an altitude of 45,000 feet, with any liquid fueled rocket (for $50,000) and with a methane/oxygen liquid… READ MORE >

Kickstarter Features MarsVR Program as “Project We Love”

The Mars Society is pleased to report some very exciting news! Our organization’s IT Director James Burk was informed today by Kickstarter that our new MarsVR program has been selected as a “Project We Love.” Kickstarter is now featuring our MarsVR campaign prominently on their platform. You can now see the “Project We Love” badge on our Kickstarter page, and we are one of the top featured projects in their Technology/Space Exploration category, which you can access using this link…. READ MORE >

4th Planet Logistics Director to Discuss Mars-Moon Lava Tube Habitats at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Michael Chalmer Dunn, Director of 4th Planet Logistics, will discuss plans to design and build human habitat infrastructures in lava tubes on Mars and the Moon during the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center. Mr. Dunn’s company, 4th Planet Logistics, was founded in 2016 with the goal of evaluating and testing the practicality of pressurizing terrestrial lava tubes directly by creating atmospheric… READ MORE >

Jump the Line & Become a MDRS Crew Member

For the first time ever, the Mars Society is offering a very unique opportunity to the general public – to serve as an actual crew member during a simulation at its Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah. Crew members are typically recruited by the Mars Society from a large pool of interested researchers, educators and students, requiring all potential candidates to go through a standardized process similar to a college or job application. The Mars Society is currently raising… READ MORE >

Red Planet Radio Interviews IT Director James Burk on New MarsVR Kickstarter Campaign

In today’s Red Planet Radio podcast (episode 20), we speak with James Burk, the Mars Society’s IT Director and lead manager of the organization’s newest project, MarsVR. In this interview, we discuss the Mars Society’s new MarsVR project, how it differs from the other VR and AR projects out there, photo-grammetry mapping of our Mars Desert Research Station for photo-realistic VR experiences and the organization’s new Kickstarter campaign. For more details about the MarsVR Kickstarter campaign, please visit: www.MarsVR.io…. READ MORE >

Mars Society Launches Kickstarter to Create MarsVR Crew Training Program

The Mars Society, the world’s largest space advocacy group dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the planet Mars, launched today a Kickstarter campaign to help raise $27,500 for a new open-source virtual reality platform called MarsVR, which will be used for serious research to support the goal of sending humans to the Red Planet. The MarsVR program will be a unique multi-phase effort designed to pioneer the emerging field of CrowdExploration, which we define as the partnership between the… READ MORE >

Bridenstine Confirmation : Message from Robert Zubrin

A Message from Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin Congratulations Jim Bridenstine for your Senate confirmation as NASA Administrator. The Mars Society offers you its full support in any effort you make to give the American people a purpose-driven space program that is really going somewhere. May you succeed in once again making NASA the banner of the pioneer spirit. New worlds are at hand, filled with wonders waiting to be discovered and history waiting to be made. The chains… READ MORE >

Mars InSight Project Manager Tom Hoffman to Address Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Tom Hoffman, Project Manager of the upcoming Mars InSight lander mission, will address the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center (Pasadena, CA). With a launch window opening on May 5th and a scheduled landing on the Red Planet in late November, Mars InSight will examine the deep interior of Mars with the goal of helping us understand how terrestrial planets – including… READ MORE >