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Top 5 Winners of Mars City State Design Competition Announced

During the recent 2020 International Mars Society Convention, the first, second, third, fourth and fifth place winners of the Mars City State Design Competition were chosen following a highly competitive final round involving ten teams from around the world. Announced in February by the Mars Society, the contest received a total of 175 team applications from over a dozen countries, requiring several down-select rounds to eventually reach the semi-finals and finals. The top five winning teams (by name, points and… READ MORE >

Record-Setting Interest in 2020 Virtual Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society, the world’s largest space advocacy group dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, concluded its 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention on Sunday, setting a new event record with over 10,000 registered attendees for the online forum, which ran from October 15-18. The organization’s first virtual conference, held due to COVID-19, created a large public surge of interest among Mars and space advocates around the world, as leading members of the space community… READ MORE >

New Horizons Mission Lead Alan Stern to Give Keynote at Virtual Mars Society Banquet

Dr. Alan Stern, NASA’s Principal Investigator for its New Horizons mission that successfully explored Pluto and its moons and is currently navigating the Kuiper Belt, will be giving the keynote address at the 2020 International Mars Society Convention’s virtual banquet on Saturday, October 17th at 7:30 pm PDT (10:30 pm EDT). A respected planetary scientist and author, Dr. Stern serves as Associate Vice President at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. His academic research has focused on the Kuiper… READ MORE >

Breaking News: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to Speak Virtually at 2020 Mars Society Convention

There’s no better way to kick-off Day 1 of the 2020 International Mars Society Convention than with a big announcement: SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk will be joining us virtually tomorrow (Friday, October 16th) at 3:00 pm PDT (6:00 pm EDT) [PLEASE NOTE NEW TIME] to provide our global audience with a special update about SpaceX and its plans for the Moon and Mars. As a world leader in advocating for humanity to become a multi-planetary species, Mr. Musk… READ MORE >

Virtual Mars Society Convention Begins Tomorrow | Sign Up Now!

The 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, an online virtual event involving some of the world’s top leaders and experts on Mars and space exploration, begins tomorrow (Oct. 15th) and runs through Sunday (Oct. 18th). With 150 speakers and over 5,000 people registered to attend, the four day global conference will bring together key scientists, commercial space executives, government policymakers and space advocates to discuss the latest scientific developments and challenges related to the exploration of Mars and the eventual… READ MORE >

Breaking News: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to Address 2020 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is very pleased to announce that Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator, will be joining us virtually during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention on Saturday, October 17th at 10:00 am PST (1:00 pm EST, 18:00 GMT) to give an update on “NASA’s plans for the Moon and Mars.” Mr. Bridenstine assumed the leadership of NASA in April 2018 and quickly launched an initiative to renew lunar exploration via the Artemis program, with plans to land the first… READ MORE >

Panel on Search for Life in the Solar System to be Held at Mars Society Convention

Every week, more and more news stories appear about the possibility of discovering extra-terrestrial life beyond the Earth. Scientists around the world are focusing (primarily) on the planet Mars, the clouds of Venus and a handful of the moons orbiting the Jovian planets as possible homes for life.   As part of its 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention (to be held virtually this year), the Mars Society has organized a special panel discussion on the search for life in our… READ MORE >

New Items Added to Mars Society Online Store Prior to 2020 Virtual Convention

The Mars Society has recently added a number of new items to its [email protected] online store (https://store.marssociety.org), including products related to the 2020 International Mars Society Convention, scheduled to be held virtually October 15-18. A few of the new items currently being offered: An official convention t-shirt An official convention sweatshirt A Mars texture mask (COVID-19) An official convention mousepad An official convention poster The virtual store has six categories of products, including t-shirts, 2020 convention, accessories, drinkware, holiday cards… READ MORE >

Finalists Chosen in Mars City State Design Competition

Ten finalists have now been chosen in the Mars City State Design Competition. The finalists include teams from the U.S., Australia, France, Canada, Austria, Spain, and Germany. In February 2020 the Mars Society announced the holding of an international contest for the best design plan of a Mars city state of 1,000,000 people. There will be a prize of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, $2,500 for third, $1,000 for fourth and $500 for fifth. In addition, the top… READ MORE >

Exciting Program Itinerary for 2020 Virtual Mars Society Convention Now Online

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that its tentative program itinerary for the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, being held via the Internet Thursday-Sunday, October 15-18, has been released on its web site. With 3,500 people currently scheduled to attend the virtual conference, along with 150 speakers, the Mars Society invites you to join this important event next month to learn about current Mars exploration, plans for a human mission to the Red Planet in the near future… READ MORE >

Mars Society Announces Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides as Speaker at 2020 Virtual Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, a well-known public speaker and author on a variety of issues related to space exploration and advocacy, will be joining its virtual event – the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, set to be held October 15-18. Mrs. Whitesides is Co-Creator of Yuri’s Night, an annual worldwide party to celebrate Yuri Gagarin’s first flight into space and help promote public interest in the final frontier. She is also a… READ MORE >

Space-IL Co-Founder Yonatan Winetraub to Address 2020 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to welcome Yonatan Winetraub, Co-Founder of SpaceIL, a $100 million Israeli non-profit organization that attempted to land Beresheet, the first private interplanetary robotic mission, on the Moon in April 2019, as a virtual speaker during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. Established in 2011, SpaceIL was founded to answer the international challenge presented by Google Lunar XPRIZE – to build, launch and land an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon. In… READ MORE >

URC Director Kevin Sloan to Provide Update at 2020 Virtual Mars Society Convention

Kevin Sloan, long-time Director of the Mars Society’s University Rover Challenge, will give a presentation about the URC program and plans for next year’s rover design competition (this summer’s URC was postponed due to COVID-19) during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. As the premier robotics competition for college students from around the world held annually at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, URC challenges student teams to design and build the next generation… READ MORE >

Semi-Finalists Chosen for Mars City State Design Contest

20 semi-finalists have been chosen for the Mars Society’s Mars City State Design Competition. The semi-finalists include teams from the U.S., Australia, France, China, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Canada, Indonesia, India, the United Kingdom, Austria, Spain and Germany. In February 2020 the Mars Society announced the holding of an international contest for the best design plan of a Mars city state of 1,000,000 people. There will be a prize of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, $2,500 for third, $1,000 for… READ MORE >

NASA JFK Space Center Associate Director to Speak at Virtual Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Kelvin Manning, Associate Director (Technical) of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center, will give a virtual plenary talk about the Center’s role in working with NASA and private companies on launches from Florida during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. In his capacity with NASA, Mr. Manning is responsible for ensuring safe and effective execution of the Center’s technical capabilities, including establishing strategies and policies to ensure… READ MORE >

ERC 2020 shows how to persevere in a post-pandemic world, embracing curiosity & seizing opportunity

The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across all branches of the economy worldwide; leaving some of them profoundly impacted for the foreseeable future. The space industry has not been insulated from the virus either and some Space 4.0 start-ups have declared bankruptcy. The most important events of the space year were at best rescheduled and at worst canceled indefinitely. What brings a little consolation is the fact that the companies whose employees could work from home made that shift quite… READ MORE >

Mars Society Applauds the Nomination of Greg Autry for NASA CFO

The Mars Society announced today its full and enthusiastic support of the nomination of Professor Greg Autry of the University of Southern California for NASA Chief Financial Officer. Commenting on the choice, Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin said, “I have known Greg Autry for almost two decades. Over the years we have sometimes agreed and sometimes disagreed, but I have always found his positions to be well-informed, well-reasoned and well-intentioned. He is, and has always been, a passionate, brave,… READ MORE >

JPL Mars Systems Engineer to Participate in Virtual Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to welcome Dr. Farah Alibay, a veteran JPL Systems Engineer involved in multiple Mars exploration missions, as a virtual speaker during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. Since 2014, Dr. Alibay has worked on a variety of NASA missions, spanning the phases of development, from early mission concepts to integration and testing all the way to cruise and surface operations. These include: GNC-Mobility Systems Engineer for the Mars Perseverance rover,… READ MORE >

MDRS Director Shannon Rupert to Discuss Simulating Life on Mars at 2020 Virtual Convention

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 >

NASA Mars Helicopter Chief Engineer Bob Balaram to Speak at 2020 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to welcome Dr. J. Bob Balaram, Chief Engineer for NASA’s Mars Ingenuity helicopter, currently en route to the Red Planet as part of the Mars Perseverance rover mission, to the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. A 25-year veteran of Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Balaram has led the development of the Mars helicopter project, which is intended to demonstrate technologies needed for flying in the Martian atmosphere. If successful, these… READ MORE >

JPL Mars Operable Robotics Supervisor to Address Virtual Mars Society Convention

Dr. Vandi Verma, JPL Supervisor of Operable Robotics for the Mars Perseverance and Mars Curiosity missions, will discuss navigating rovers on the Martian surface during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. Dr. Verma joined JPL’s Mobility and Robotics Systems Section in 2007, with research interest in robotic software that enables autonomy and commanding under uncertainty for coordinated manipulation, mobility, sampling and science. Since 2008, she has been driving Mars rovers (MER, MSL) and operating the… READ MORE >

Award-Winning Science Journalist Bruce Dorminey to Join 2020 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to welcome Bruce Dorminey, veteran science journalist, podcaster and author, as a virtual plenary speaker during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. An award-winning science journalist, covering primarily aerospace, astronomy and astrophysics for over three decades, Mr. Dorminey serves as a science contributor to Forbes magazine and Astronomy magazine. In addition, he writes for Stardate, Cosmos and Sky & Telescope magazine, among others. He was also Hong Kong bureau chief… READ MORE >

Virgin Galactic’s George Whitesides to Speak at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that George T. Whitesides, newly-appointed Chief Space Officer of Virgin Galactic, will give a virtual plenary talk at the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18, 2020. A ten-year veteran of Virgin Galactic, Mr. Whitesides currently spearheads the development of future technologies, including high speed point to point travel and orbital travel. In addition, he serves as the Chair of the Virgin Galactic’s Space Advisory Board. Prior to this, he… READ MORE >

‘Halfway to Mars’ – Mars Society Releases New Song Celebrating Humanity’s Recent Achievements in Space

In light of recent achievements in space and our continued efforts as a species to get humans on to the surface of the Red Planet, the Mars Society is thrilled to release an inspiring new song, ‘Halfway to Mars‘, that celebrates the work of the pioneers of Mars and hopes to inspire all of us to strive even harder. The idea for the song came about three months into the COVID-19 lockdown, when opera singer Oscar Castellino, in a chat… READ MORE >

2020 Virtual Mars Society Convention to Host Senior Mars Scientists

The Mars Society, the world’s largest space advocacy group dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, will be convening its 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention on October 15-18, 2020 for our global community via the Internet. Through the use of unique technology provided by the TMRO company of Anaheim, CA, it will be possible to not only hold presentations, panel discussions and debates, but also to allow people from around the world to participate, posing… READ MORE >