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2022 Mars Society Convention to Receive Update about Mars Rovers from ASU’s Jim Bell

Ten missions have now been successfully landed on the planet Mars since 1976, including six rovers that have traversed across a total of more than 50 kms of terrain. Arizona State University’s Dr. Jim Bell has been the lead or deputy scientist in charge of the science cameras on NASA’s Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance rovers, providing him with an amazing front row seat for their photographic and geological adventures. The Mars Society will be welcoming Dr. Bell as a… READ MORE >

NASA Assoc. Admin. Bhavya Lal to discuss Mars nuclear propulsion at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Bhavya Lal, NASA Associate Administrator for Technology, Policy, and Strategy, will give a plenary talk about the strategic and policy challenges related to nuclear propulsion for a human mission to Mars during the 25th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 20-23, 2022 at Arizona State University. Dr. Lal is responsible for providing evidence-driven advice to NASA leadership on internal and external policy issues, strategic planning, and technology investments. She… READ MORE >

An Awesome Design Wins 1st Place in the 2022 Mars Society Poster Contest

The Mars Society is very pleased to announce that Antonella Berti Benza has won first place in the 2022 Mars Society Poster Contest! A resident of Córdoba, Argentina, Ms. Benza works in art direction and graphic design and illustration at Nellabe Art. Graphic artists who participated in this year’s design competition were asked to submit a poster using the theme “Searching for Life with Heavy Lift” as part of its overall composition. Current heavy lift spaceflight options include NASA’s SLS… READ MORE >

UA’s Marcia Rieke to Present Latest News about Webb Telescope at Mars Society Convention

With booming world-wide interest in NASA’s now operational James Webb Space Telescope, the Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Marcia Rieke, Principal Investigator for the Webb’s near-infrared camera NICRam, will give an address – “The Webb Telescope’s First Months: A Treasure Trove of Results” – during the 25th Annual International Mars Society Convention October 20-23 at Arizona State University (Tempe). Currently a Regents Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, Dr. Rieke focuses her research activities on… READ MORE >

Int’l Mars Mission Design Competition Moving into the Final Round

After two weeks of lectures and two weeks of intensive design work, the Mars Society’s International Mission to Mars Design Class & Competition for high school students is now moving towards its final stage, with the five teams of approximately seven students each – one from Asia, one from Europe and Africa and three from the Americas – now writing up their design reports in preparation for the concluding contest beginning next week. The final shootout will occur in three… READ MORE >

Plenary Talk about Russia & the Limits of Global Space Cooperation at the Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. William Bianco, a Professor of Political Science at Indiana University (Bloomington) and a former Fulbright Senior Scholar, will address the topic of “Russia and the Limits of Global Space Cooperation” during a plenary talk at the 25th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 20-23, 2022 at Arizona State University (Tempe). Receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1987, Dr. Bianco has held tenured positions at Indiana University, Penn… READ MORE >

Finalists Chosen in Mars Society’s Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that six finalists have been chosen in the Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition (TMEDC), an international contest announced in January which asked the entrants to design the best set of robotic exploration hardware using a 10-ton payload Mars lander. The finalists include teams from the U.S., Canada, and Europe and are listed below: MIFECO Proposal – Robert Mills United States (Michigan) Carl Greenbaum United States (South Dakota) Moran_TMEDC_Team United States (Virginia) Innspace Team… READ MORE >

Mars Society Conducting “International Mission to Mars” Design Course & Competition for High School Age Students

This summer, the Mars Society has been conducting a truly groundbreaking educational program for 40 high school students from around the world, modeled on the approach taken in engineering design courses at some of the best universities in the world. With this six-week virtual program, which began on July 5th and will conclude in mid-August, the Mars Society looks to make educational history by demonstrating the value of a new and much more creative way to teach science and engineering… READ MORE >

Honeybee Robotics VP Kris Zacny to Address 2022 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Kris Zacny, Vice President of Exploration Systems and Senior Research Scientist at Honeybee Robotics, will give a plenary talk about robotic space exploration and mining at the 25th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 20-23, 2022 at Arizona State University (Tempe). Honeybee Robotics is a prominent R&D engineering company that creates advanced robotic systems for the most demanding environments and applications, both on Earth and in space. Industries served include spacecraft, planetary… READ MORE >

First All-High School Crew Set for MDRS

The Mars Society is pleased to announce the high school students selected to be part of the first all-high school crew participating in a full analog mission at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah. Spaceward Bound High School is part of the Mars Society’s K-12 STEM initiative called Spaceward Bound, which involves U.S. and international students. The student team was chosen for their personal skills and interests, as well as their ability to fit into a team… READ MORE >

Space Nomads: Why Mongolians are Destined to Go to Mars

By Dr. Robert Zubrin, The Cosmopolitan Globalist, 07.13.22 While I earn my living as president of a small aerospace R&D company, Pioneer Astronautics, I also lead the Mars Society, a non-profit that promotes the exploration and settlement of Mars. Founded in 1998, the Mars Society has chapters in 40 countries. Our activities include public outreach to spread our vision, securing support for government Mars programs, and projects of our own—most notably, establishing Mars analog research stations in deserts around the… READ MORE >

Opening a Korean New Space Era

By Dr. Robert Zubrin, The Cosmopolitan Globalist, 07.10.22 The Republic of Korea is a remarkable country. In 1960, seven years after the Korean War ceasefire, it was a corrupt dictatorship with a per capita GDP of US$82, about US$400 in 2022 money—less than Haiti. Today, through incredible drive, it has transformed itself into vibrant modern democracy with a per capita GDP of $30,000, roughly equal to the EU average, and a total GDP greater than Russia’s. This is an absolutely unique… READ MORE >

Register Now for ‘Living in Space 2022’

Join us this Friday & Saturday (July 8-9) for ‘Living in Space 2022’, a fascinating series of talks about analog research and development involving the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah. Hosted by Better Futures, in coordination with the Mars Society, the two-day virtual event will involve over a dozen speakers discussing various topics related to humanity living in space, including on the planet Mars. Among the many speakers participating are: Mars Society President Dr. Robert… READ MORE >

MDRS Director Shannon Rupert Selected for NASA STAR Program

Dr. Shannon Rupert, field ecologist and long-time director of the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, was notified recently that she has been accepted into Cohort 3 of NASA’s STAR (Spaceflight Technology, Applications and Research) program, beginning in September 2022. A highly competitive 5-month course, STAR is a virtual NASA program for space biosciences training, with annual courses involving principal investigators, senior research scientists, and postdoctoral scholars. The goal of STAR is to facilitate each participant’s entry… READ MORE >

SpaceX’s Starlink Comms System Now Used by Crews at Mars Society’s MDRS in Utah

The Mars Society announced that its Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) management team has installed SpaceX’s Starlink system at its remote campus in southern Utah to help dramatically improve the facility’s communications network used by analog crews involved in on-site simulation training and field studies.  Starlink is a global satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing internet access coverage to dozens of countries around the world, and frequently used in areas where wifi connectivity is typically unreliable or completely unavailable. … READ MORE >

U of Michigan Wins URC Competition!

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the Michigan Mars Rover Team (University of Michigan) has won the 2022 University Rover Challenge, the world’s premier Mars robotics competition for college students, with 388.97 points! Way to go, Wolverines! Coming in second place was the Monash Nova Rover (Monash University, Australia) with 380.55 points, and third place was taken by the Mars Rover Design Team (Missouri University of Science & Technology) with 370.71 points. All 36 student teams did a… READ MORE >

Participate in our 2022 Mars Society Poster Contest

Use Your Creativity to Commemorate the 25thAnnual International Mars Society Convention! The Mars Society held its first international forum a quarter of a century ago in Colorado bringing together dozens of leading scientists and members of the global space community to discuss plans for a human mission to the planet Mars. This year, the Mars Society will be holding its 25th Annual International Mars Society Convention at Arizona State University on October 20-23, recruiting similar high-level space and science experts to participate… READ MORE >

New Mars Society Ambassador Program Launched to Promote Public Outreach

The Mars Society is pleased to announce the establishment of its new Mars Society Ambassador program in an effort to expand public awareness of the importance of planning human Mars exploration and settlement. Led by veteran public speaker and author James Melton, the Mars Society Ambassador program is assembling a team of dedicated volunteers, beginning in North America and eventually moving beyond, to speak knowledgably about the concept of humans-to-Mars to organizations, schools, and public forums. This will include making use of professionally… READ MORE >

2022-23 MDRS Field Season Announced

With the 2021-22 field season at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah winding down in the coming days, MDRS management, led by its director, Dr. Shannon Rupert, is pleased to announce the crew itinerary* for the 2022-23 field season at MDRS. Congratulations to the crews on being selected, and we look forward to hosting them “on Mars”! 2022 October 1 – 16: MDRS Work Party October 20 – 23: [Off-Site] The 25th Annual International Mars Society… READ MORE >

Hiring: Assistant Director (for remote research station in Utah)

The Mars Society is seeking applications from highly qualified people for management positions at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, the largest and longest-running Mars analog facility in the world.  The station is set amid some of the most spectacular landscapes you will ever see, and researchers come from all over the world to work here. We are looking for assistant directors beginning in October 2022.  You must be able to work in the U.S. and possess a… READ MORE >

Relativity Space Becomes a URC Sponsor

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Relativity Space, a Los Angeles-based aerospace company, has joined the growing ranks of official sponsors of our University Rover Challenge (URC), the world’s premier Mars robotics competition for college students held annually at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. Relativity is at the forefront of software-defined manufacturing, using 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and autonomous robotics to revolutionize how rockets are built and flown. The company intends to develop the world’s first entirely… READ MORE >

The Speed of Change

From the perspective of a human perched in orbit on the International Space Station, the sun appears to rise and fall every 45 minutes. With continents rolling below in fleeting day and night, astronauts report that the passage of time can feel strangely warped.   To those spacefarers hurtling past the whole of civilization, skipping from dawn to dusk and back again, the relentlessness of change and the transience of all things must be palpable. One need not be in… READ MORE >

Mars Society to Hold International High School Mars Mission Design Class & Competition

The Mars Society will hold an international high school student Mars Mission Design Class & Competition this summer. The virtual class will be a unique experience, allowing high school students from around the world to take part in an educational activity modelled on the design course now practiced by the best world-wide university engineering departments. A university design class differs greatly from a typical college class. Instead of being taught some material by a professor and then being tested on… READ MORE >

Utah NASA Space Grant Consortium Approves 5K Grant for MDRS Classroom Initiative

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 >

Astrobiologist & Analog Astronaut Reut Abramovich to Join RPL Podcast

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 >