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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 >

From the Executive Director

How You Can Help Humanity Get to Mars Many people ask me, “James, how I can help get human beings to Mars? I’m not a rocket scientist… I’m just a regular person!” I tell them that the Mars Society was founded on the principle that we need people from all walks of life to achieve our mission. From the beginning, we have been a grassroots organization powered by people from all cultures, with a wide variety of skill sets and… READ MORE >

Celebrate our 25th Annual International Mars Society Convention

As the world’s largest space advocacy group dedicated to humans-to-Mars, the Mars Society has been bringing together key scientists, researchers, commercial space executives, government representatives, and journalists to discuss the latest news about human Mars exploration and settlement, as well as cutting-edge topics in space exploration, science, and technology. For the last two years, due to the pandemic, our international conference has been virtual only, resulting in a significant online audience. This year, our Mars Society leadership is pleased to… READ MORE >

Invitation: NASA-Funded Utah Teachers Program at MDRS (Dec. 11-17, 2022)

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 >

It’s a Zubrin Base Birthday!

Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin celebrated his 70th birthday with family and friends in Colorado over the weekend. To mark the occasion, Dr. Zubrin was presented with a special gift – a detailed and futuristic Mars base model named after him. Key members of the Mars Society’s leadership funded the gift through personal donations. The customized model was created by the talented conceptual designer Bryan Versteeg of Spacehabs.com, showing an external hub leading into a vast underground network of… READ MORE >

Mars Society Invited to Participate in 2022 Star Trek Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the organization has accepted an invitation from The 56-Year Mission Las Vegas (previously Star Trek Las Vegas) to participate in this year’s event, scheduled for August 25-28 at Bally’s Hotel & Casino. Organized and managed by Creation Entertainment, the Las Vegas-based annual Star Trek convention will include a line-up of approximately 100 actors, such as William Shatner (“Captain Kirk”), involved in the historic science fiction television and film series. Supervised by Mars… READ MORE >

JPL’s Vandi Verma to talk about driving rovers on Mars during next RPL podcast

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Vandi Verma, Chief Engineer of JPL Robotic Operations for NASA’s Perseverance and Curiosity rover missions, will be joining our Red Planet Live video podcast on Thursday, April 21 (6pm PT / 9pm ET) to talk about how the two robotic explorers navigate on the surface of Mars. Having joined JPL’s Mars rover team in 2008, Dr. Verma specializes in space robotics, autonomous robots and robotic operations. She has also designed, developed, and operated… READ MORE >

Space Organizations Unite to Support Approval of Starship Test Flights

A group of 14 space advocacy organizations today published a joint statement urging rapid U.S. government approval of SpaceX’s Starship test flights. Commenting on the initiative, Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin said: “The organizations that have come together to make this statement represent every point of view within the space community. Whether one’s priority is settling Mars, developing space commerce, exploring the Moon, assuring national security, or gaining new knowledge of the Earth, the planets, or the universe, we… READ MORE >

Sign Up for Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition

The Mars Society announced recently the launching of a new international contest to design a telerobotic Mars expedition. 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 best 20 papers submitted will be published in a new Mars Society book, “Telerobotic Mars Expeditions: Exploring the Red Planet with Platoons of Robots.” An essential requirement for any human Mars exploration mission is a system capable of… READ MORE >

Public Welcomed to CHASM Analogue Forum at Cambridge

Members of the public are invited to meet with analogue astronauts and mission specialists at the Conference on Human Analogue Space Missions (CHASM) on Sunday, April 3rd (14:30-18:00 BST) at the Lucy Cavendish College on the Cambridge University campus. Organized by Mars Society UK, one of the Mars Society’s global chapters, CHASM involves talks by UK and international analogue space mission crews and staff about their missions and goals.  One of the key speakers will be Dr. Shannon Rupert, Director of the Mars… READ MORE >

Mars Society Peru & Spain Chapter Experiment to be Flown to Chinese Space Station

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) have selected a joint project by Mars Society Peru and Mars Society España, two of the Mars Society’s international chapters, as part of their Access To Space For All initiative. Organized by university students from both countries, the combined Peruvian and Spanish research project is intended to study the effect of microgravity on the growth and biofilm production of disease-causing bacteria. Thanks to UNOOSA… READ MORE >