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Mars Society Convention to Hear from NASA’s Karl Stapelfeldt about Exoplanet Exploration

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Karl Stapelfeldt, Chief Scientist for NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program, will be giving a virtual presentation about the ongoing search for planets orbiting other stars during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17, 2021. Working at JPL in California, Dr. Stapelfeldt is involved in refining the content and direction of NASA exoplanet missions, technology developments, and scientific research. Over his 30-year career, he has been a member of… READ MORE >

NASA Ingenuity Operations Lead to Give Update at 2021 Mars Society Convention

With NASA-JPL’s Ingenuity helicopter making history on an almost weekly basis with flights above the Martian surface, the Mars Society is pleased to welcome Theodore (Teddy) Tzanetos, Ingenuity Operations Lead, as a virtual plenary speaker during its 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17, 2021. Mr. Tzanetos serves as a Robotics Technologist in JPL’s Robotics Mobility Group, focusing on the Mars science helicopter mission. His expertise involves embedded system development with an emphasis on state estimation for… READ MORE >

International Collaboration in Space: Doorway to a Wiser Humanity (Blog)

RED PLANET BOUND by Evan Plant-Weir International collaboration in space is an important catalyst for the growth of our species. Not only does is bolster our total scientific and economic productivity as a planet, but it also constitutes an important mechanism for our transition into a more planetary-minded people. Humanity is fumbling through its adolescence. We grapple with the messy contradictions found at the intersection of our violent past, and our aspirations for the future. We have matured enough as… READ MORE >

Mars Society Announces 2021 Poster Contest Winner!

The Mars Society is very pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s Mars Society Poster Contest is Olivier Gourdon of France. He is a designer and artist by trade, currently serving as a workshop manager in the graphic industry, and having previously worked in the newspaper and communication agency field. Olivier also was part of a French team in the 2020 Mars City State Design Competition. Graphic artists who participated in our annual design contest were asked to submit… READ MORE >

JPL’s Vandi Verma to Give Update on Rover Mission Navigation at Mars Society Convention

Dr. Vandi Verma, JPL Supervisor of Operable Robotics for Mars Perseverance and Mars Curiosity, will provide a virtual update about navigating the two rover missions on the surface of Mars during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, set for October 14-17, 2021. Dr. Verma joined JPL’s Mobility and Robotics Systems Section 14 years ago, 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… READ MORE >

Astrobiologist Charles Cockell to Discuss ‘Engineering a Free Mars’ at 2021 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that veteran astrobiologist Dr. Charles Cockell, will give a virtual plenary address at the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention (Oct. 14-17) about the concept of “engineering a free Mars” by reviewing how humanity can “use engineering to drive extraterrestrial society away from tyranny and toward freedom.” As Chair of Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Physics & Astronomy, Dr. Cockell’s research group focuses on the study of life in extreme… READ MORE >

NASA’s Carol Stoker to Detail Search for Life on Red Planet at 2021 Mars Society Convention

Dr. Carol Stoker, a veteran planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center and a founding member of the Mars Underground, will give a virtual plenary address entitled “The Search for Life on Mars: What We Are Doing & What We Should Do” during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17, 2021. Dr. Stoker has been involved with the Ames Research Center for 36 years, specializing in a range of Mars exploration science and technology. Most of… READ MORE >

Mars Society Selected to Receive $1 Million from Blue Origin’s Club for the Future

Today, the Mars Society was selected to receive a $1 million grant from Blue Origin’s Club for the Future. This generous grant will allow us to expand all of our activities, including conferences, publications, STEM outreach, engineering competitions, and student participation as crew members at our Mars analog research stations, helping us to learn how best to explore the Red Planet by engaging in comparable field exploration in some of the most Mars-like environments on Earth. “Our recent auction for the first seat on… READ MORE >

Join our Red Planet Live Talk with MDRS Crew 245

The Mars Society invites you to join us this Thursday (July 15th) at 6pm PST / 9pm EST for the next episode of our Red Planet Live video podcast with an amazing discussion with Crew 245 about their recent two-week simulation at the Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah. Participating in the show with our host, Ron Craig, will be the full team – Dylan Dickstein, Commander, Shayna Hume, Executive Officer (XO), Julio Hernandez, Crew Botanist, Shravan Hariharan, Crew… READ MORE >

Roving Mars: Advancing Machines Explore the Red Planet

By Lawrence Klaes, Guest Writer, The Mars Society If there is one highlight among many that the Twenty-First Century can be noted for when it comes to space exploration, it is as the era when the automated rover really took off – and all over – the planet Mars. At this moment, there are three functioning multi-wheeled explorers making their way across different parts of the Red Planet, their suites of instruments gleaning what they can about their new homes… READ MORE >

Update from JPL’s Katie Stack Morgan about Perseverance during Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Katie Stack Morgan, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Deputy Project Scientist for NASA’s Perseverance rover, will provide an update about the mission’s current work exploring the Martian surface as well as future planning during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17, 2021. The Perseverance rover landed on the planet Mars earlier this year in February, with the goal of searching for signs of ancient life and collecting samples of… READ MORE >

NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green to Address 2021 Mars Society Convention

With the Ingenuity helicopter continuing to operate on Mars, NASA has begun expanding its planning for additional aerial exploratory missions. As such, the Mars Society is very pleased to announce that NASA Chief Scientist Dr. Jim Green will be giving a virtual plenary address about “the future of flying on the Red Planet” during its 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17, 2021. As a veteran planetary scientist and physicist, Dr. Green was appointed Chief Scientist at… READ MORE >

Titan Dragonfly PI Elizabeth Turtle to Give Update at 2021 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Elizabeth Turtle, Principal Investigator of NASA’s Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander mission to Saturn’s largest moon Titan, will give a virtual update about the spacecraft during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, set for October 14-17, 2021. Scheduled for launch in 2026 and arrival in 2034 and taking advantage of Titan’s dense atmosphere and low gravity, Dragonfly will explore dozens of locations across the moon’s frozen surface, sampling and measuring the composition of its organic materials, with… READ MORE >

MIT’s Sara Seager to Talk about Possible Life in Venus’ Atmosphere at Virtual Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Sara Seager, a prominent astronomer and planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will give a virtual update about efforts to search for bio-signatures in the atmosphere of the planet Venus during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17, 2021. Serving as the Class of 1941 Professor of Physics & Planet Science and Professor of Aeronautics & Astronautics at MIT, Dr. Seager, along with other researchers at MIT, Cardiff… READ MORE >

Mars Society Presents Red Planet Live Video Podcast

We are pleased to introduce our new Red Planet Live video podcast – a raw, off the cuff look into all things Mars. We will talk with planetary scientists, STEM industry experts, members of academia, and space advocates who all have a deep passion for the Red Planet. Ron Craig will host the show on behalf of the Mars Society, and will lead and moderate tantalizing discussions with our guests every month as we dig into the questions and work being… READ MORE >

Planetary Geologist Henrik Hargitai to Talk about Mapping Mars at Virtual Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Henrik Hargitai, a planetary geologist and mapping expert at NASA’s Ames Research Center, will give a virtual presentation about mapping the Red Planet at the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, set for October 14-17, 2021. Dr. Hargitai is involved in a post-doctoral fellow at the NASA’s Ames Research Center and the NASA Astrobiology Institute, focusing on planetary cartography, fluvial geomorphology and the history and localization of planetary nomenclature. Earlier this… READ MORE >

Robots Are No Substitute For Human Space Exploration (Blog)

By Evan Plant-Weir, Senior Writer, Red Planet Bound Blog Space exploration is not just about gathering data. By and large, the last few hundred days on Earth are not going to be remembered fondly. Few will recall the COVID-19 years with a sense of happy nostalgia. Ultimately, however, this time won’t be entirely defined by the beating we took at the hands of a pandemic. Despite the many tragedies and challenges therein, we still managed to pull off some pretty… READ MORE >

Three Volunteer Internship Opportunities for 2021-22 MDRS Field Season

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that there are three volunteer internship opportunities available for the upcoming 2021-22 field season at the Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah. Two are student positions which require a minimum month-long commitment on-site, and should be done in collaboration with the student’s academic institution as part of an independent study program. The first opportunity is designed for biology majors and requires the student to be on-site in December 2021 to do field… READ MORE >

Interstellar Lab CEO Barbara Belvisi to Speak at 2021 Mars Society Convention
Barbara Belvisi

Barbara Belvisi, CEO & founder of Interstellar Lab, Inc., will give a virtual plenary address about her company and its mission at the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17, 2021. Established in 2018 and located in Los Angeles and Paris, Interstellar Lab develops bio-regenerative modules and life-support solutions to make human life sustainable on Earth, Mars and throughout the solar system. Ms. Belvisi started her career as an investment manager in a FoF management company, then… READ MORE >

The Profound Potential of Elon Musk’s New Rocket (Zubrin Op-Ed)

By Dr. Robert Zubrin, Nautilus, 05.12.21 In the late afternoon of May 5, SpaceX’s Elon Musk tweeted, “Starship landing nominal!” Musk is not known for understatement. But seeing that stainless steel behemoth soar was, for many, something more like phenomenal. Over 5 million people watched the spectacle on YouTube, perhaps many with bated breath, as every prior attempt at landing Starship had gone up in flames. Not SN15. This Starship, after having climbed 12 kilometers and then coasted down in a “belly… READ MORE >

Final MDRS Mission Summary – Crew 235

Crew 235, Mars Desert Research Station The following is the final summary report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 235.  At the start of our mission, nine strangers came together with different hopes and expectations, all with the same end goal – come together with other like-minded individuals within the education community and emerge with new skills or ideas. Amazingly, every step of our journey together built the outcome that would meet and exceed everyone’s expectations. Many of the crew interactions… READ MORE >

NASA’s Chris McKay to Talk Terraforming at 2021 Mars Society Convention

Dr. Chris McKay, a senior planetary scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center and one of the co-founders of the Mars Underground, will virtually address the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17, 2021, about the concept of terraforming the planet Mars. A renowned astrobiologist and expert on planetary atmospheres and terraforming, Dr. McKay’s research focuses primarily on the evolution of the solar system and the origins of life. He is also involved in planning future Mars missions, including human… READ MORE >

Can Signs of Life on Mars Indicate the Reopening of Earth? (Sim with MDRS Crew 245)

For over a year, the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) has been nearly as quiet as Mars itself. Normally MDRS is a revolving door for teams of scientists, engineers, physicians, journalists, etc. to research, record, and reflect at one of the leading Martian simulations in the world. MDRS prides itself in being safety first and administration took quick and appropriate action to protect its simulation participants and staff from what the world soon came to know as a global health… READ MORE >

NASA’s MOXIE PI Michael Hecht to Address 2021 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Hecht, Principal Investigator for NASA Perseverance’s MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) instrument, will give a virtual address about the project to the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17, 2021. As part of the growing list of “firsts” for NASA’s Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars, MOXIE successfully converted air from the Red Planet’s thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen in April, laying the… READ MORE >

Mars City State Designs Book Published!

The Mars Society is proud to announce that its book, “Mars City States: New Societies for a New World”, has now been published. The book, edited by Frank Crossman, contains the twenty top designs for a one million person Mars City State, is now on sale in both paperback and kindle formats. People will soon be able to go to the Red Planet. But that very possibility opens a still more interesting – indeed truly grand – question: What will we… READ MORE >