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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 >

Public Displays for The Big Dream Space Art Initiative Begin Today (2.22.22)

World-wide presentations for The Big Dream space art initiative begin TODAY (2.22.22), with 15 public displays of 500 (+) pieces of artwork based on people’s dreams for humanity’s future in space, including the planet Mars! Partnering with Dreame, the Mars Society has called on its global membership and friends to submit their visions for the human settlement of Mars and beyond to The Big Dream project for transformation into inspiring art. The enclosed graphic lists the locations for all 15 sites around the world where the… READ MORE >

Mars Society’s MarsVR Now Available for Public Beta on Steam Digital Platform

What you need to know: The first Early Access release of MarsVR, showcasing the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station, is now available to the general public. MarsVR is listed in the Steam directory of VR applications, the main VR content platform, and supports most major brands of VR headsets. This version of MarsVR is a guided tour of the campus and surrounding terrain.  Future versions will add building interiors including objects used in analog space missions as well as… READ MORE >

Executive Director’s Report (02.22) – The Mars Society

We invite you to watch a video report by James L Burk, our new Executive Director, about his first full month in the role. The five-minute video lists a number of key accomplishments achieved since January 1st, such as the announcement of our Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition (TMEDC). James also outlines plans and initiatives for next month, including the official public release of our Mars VR Virtual Reality project. To watch the new video report, please click here. This… READ MORE >

MDRS in Español

Estamos muy emocionados de anunciar que en enero del 2023 realizaremos nuestras primeras misiones análogas completamente en español en el Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) en Utah. Todas las posiciones para las dos tripulaciones están abiertas. Los aplicantes deben tener fluidez en español hablado y escrito. Además, deben tener, como mínimo, habilidades de conversación en inglés. También estamos buscando personal de apoyo remoto para la misión como Oficial de Comunicación o CapCom. Comuníquese con Atila Meszaros, Director Asistente de MDRS,… READ MORE >

Red Planet Live to Host MDRS Director Shannon Rupert

Please join us on Monday, February 14th at 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET as we welcome Dr. Shannon Rupert to Red Planet Live, the Mars Society’s monthly video podcast! A trained ecologist with more than two decades of experience in Mars analog studies, Dr. Rupert has been the Director of the Mars Desert Research Station since 2009. MDRS is the largest and longest-running Mars surface simulation facility in the world, where 6-7 person crews participate in two-week field… READ MORE >

Humans, Mars and the Solar Ecosystem

Imagine that you have been transported 3.5 billion years into the past. Somewhere on a young planet Earth, you find yourself standing by the edge of a warm tidal pool. In it, life has just taken shape for the very first time on this world, and perhaps anywhere. As the result of circumstances that we still do not fully understand, non-living matter has somehow joined together in just the right way to generate a living system. You are witness to… READ MORE >

Mars Society Creates MDRS-FMARS Alumni Group on Linkedin

The Mars Society recently established the MDRS-FMARS Alumni Group on LinkedIn to serve as a place of contact for former crew members who served at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah or the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) in Canada. The new LinkedIn platform will allow former crew members to network professionally, discuss career progress and opportunities, post research and presentations about analog work and related studies, add articles about and photos from past crew missions, and… READ MORE >

Mars Society to Partner with The Big Dream Art Initiative

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that it will be partnering with Dreame, a global collective of artists and dreamers headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, on its initiative, The Big Dream, which lays out through art the dreams of humanity. In the latest phase of The Big Dream, the company is collecting tens of thousands of examples of dreams and ideas from people around the world about the future of our universe, the planet Mars included. Many of these… READ MORE >

‘Coming Soon’ Trailer from MarsVR

The Mars Society’s MarsVR team has released a “Coming Soon” trailer for its MDRS Virtual Reality environment, to be hosted on Steam in the near future. The goal of the MDRS VR project is to create a special training environment for MDRS (Mars Desert Research Station) crew members and the general public in order to learn more about Mars analog science, technology, and procedures. The MarsVR team has been working since 2018 on a digital twin of the real-life MDRS facility located in southern… READ MORE >

Red Planet Live Podcast to Welcome Astrobiologist Graham Lau on Jan. 18th

Astrobiologist & science communicator Dr. Graham Lau will appear on Red Planet Live, the Mars Society’s monthly video podcast hosted by Ron Craig, this Tuesday, January 18th (6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET) to answer all your questions about the ongoing search for life in our solar system.  With the latest research, scientists view not just the planet Mars as a possible abode for life, but also Venus, where biosignatures may have been detected in the planet’s atmosphere, and… READ MORE >

Mars Society Announces Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition

The Mars Society is pleased to announce the launching of a new global 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 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… READ MORE >

NASA’s Carol Stoker to Discuss Search for Life on Mars – Virtual Talk (MSC)

Dr. Carol Stoker, a senior scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center and one of the co-founders of the Mars Society, will be giving a virtual talk about the ongoing search for life on Mars on Wednesday, January 12th at 7:00 pm CT during a chapter meeting of Mars Society Chicago. Dr. Stoker has been involved with Ames for 36 years, specializing in a range of Mars exploration science and technology. Most of her recent work has focused on developing… READ MORE >

NASA at Its Best [Zubrin Op-Ed]

By Dr. Robert Zubrin, National Review, 12.28.21 On Christmas Day, NASA’s long-awaited James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was finally launched into space. The JWST is, by far, the greatest astronomical observatory ever built. Its primary mirror is 21 feet across, triple that of Hubble, giving it ten times the light-gathering capacity. Add to that the fact that its infrared optics are ten times as sensitive, and the result is a telescope a hundred times as powerful. The discoveries it could make are beyond reckoning…. READ MORE >

Mars, Meaning and COVID Fatigue

As we quickly approach the grim milestone of two consecutive years in a global pandemic, many of us are experiencing a feeling of growing despair. Once again, our holiday season is marred by uncertainty in the shadow of a new and potent COVID-19 variant. The rapid and shocking spread of Omicron is pushing us apart, precisely when we are meant to come together. The closing of a year should be a time for celebration of the little victories, and yet… READ MORE >