Detailed Rules Published for American Mars Exploration Rover Challenge

The Mars Society published today on its web site the full set of rules for its new American Mars Exploration Rover Challenge (AMERC), a high school version of the organization’s highly successful University Rover Challenge, part of the Rover Challenge Series (RCS) which is intended to inspire students at the crossroad of robotics and space exploration. The inaugural AMERC competition will take place at an artificial Mars Yard to be built at The Wings over the Rockies Air & Space… READ MORE >

[Space.com] How the Mars 160 Crew Stays Busy and Healthy

By Annalea Beattie, Mars 160 Crew Member, Space.com, 10.28.16 The Mars Society is conducting an ambitious two-phase Mars 160 Twin Desert-Arctic Analog mission to study how seven crewmembers could live, work and perform science on a true mission to Mars. Mars 160 crewmember Annalea Beattie ischronicling the mission, which will spend 80 days at the Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah desert before venturing far north to Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island, Canada in summer 2017. Here’s her fourth dispatch from… READ MORE >

Red Planet Radio (Ep. 8) – Leonard David Discusses New MARS Book

The Mars Society’s Red Planet Radio podcast posted Episode 8 today, which involves an interview with veteran space journalist and historian Leonard David. Today’s RPR host is Bill Hargenrader, best-selling author of the Mars Journey series and Founder of I Love Mars Media. Link to listen to our RPR 08 interview in iTunes. Mr. David is an award-winning space journalist, reporting on space activities for over 50 years and is author of “Mars – Our Future on the Red Planet” to be published by… READ MORE >

Colonizing Mars: A Critique of the SpaceX ITS by Robert Zubrin

By Robert Zubrin, The New Atlantis, 10.21.16 In remarks at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico on September 29, 2016, SpaceX president Elon Musk revealed to great fanfare his company’s plans for an Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). According to Musk, the ITS would enable the colonization of Mars by the rapid delivery of a million people in groups of a hundred passengers per flight, as well as large-scale human exploration missions to other bodies, such as Jupiter’s moon Europa…. READ MORE >

Time to Sign Up for the Space Exploration Alliance’s 2017 Legislative Blitz

Please help promote Mars and space exploration during the 2017 Space Exploration Alliance Legislative Blitz on Capitol Hill early next year, scheduled for February 26-28. SEA staff will hold an information/training session for attendees in Washington, D.C. on the afternoon of Sunday, February 26th (2 p.m. to 5 p.m.). Meetings with congressional offices will be held on Monday, February 27th and Tuesday, February 28th. Join other Mars Society members and friends by signing up today!… READ MORE >

Mars Society Announces High School Mars Rover Competition

At its international convention in Washington, D.C. on September 24th, the Mars Society announced that it will conduct an annual high school Mars rover competition. The contest, to be known as the American Mars Exploration Rover Challenge (AMERC), builds on the organization’s highly successful Mars rover competitions for university teams, including the University Rover Challenge (URC), held in Utah at the Mars Desert Research Station, and the European Rover Challenge (ERC), conducted on simulated desert terrain (“Mars yard”) at a science… READ MORE >

Robert Zubrin Comments on President Obama’s Mars Declaration

Today, President Obama called for sending humans to Mars. Let’s hope that his successor acts to make that vision a reality.To be serious, the next president needs to make the goal to be to get to the Red Planet before the end of her or his second term. This can be done. From a technical point of view, we are much closer today to sending humans to Mars they we were to sending men to the Moon in 1961, and… READ MORE >

Red Planet Radio (Ep7) – Mars City Design’s Vera Mulyani

Today on the Mars Society’s Red Planet Radio podcast (episode 7) – Mars City Design Challenge Founder & CEO Vera Mulyani Ms. Mulyani’s multidisciplinary background in master planning in various fields of art; architecture, urban design, filmmaking and storytelling, has made her specialized in conceptual strategy in technology, innovation and business development, which is just perfect for designing a future city on the Red Planet. Mars City Design’s mission is to design the blueprint for sustainable cities on Mars. Mars City Design… READ MORE >

[Space.com] Notes from Mars 160: The Mars Society’s Epic Simulation

The first of a regular weekly journal series, exclusive to Space.com, from the Mars Society’s Mars 160 crew currently stationed at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. By Annalea Beattie, Mars 160 Crew Member On Sept. 24, The Mars Society launched the ambitious two-phase Mars 160 Twin Desert-Arctic Analog simulation to study how seven crewmembers could live, work and perform science on a true mission to Mars. Mars 160 crewmember Annalea Beattie is chronicling the mission, which will spend 80 days at… READ MORE >

New Spacesuits for MDRS

New spacesuits, helmets and backpacks were delivered earlier today to the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station. As expected, our Mars 160 crew members are very pleased with the new gear. A big thanks to our Mars Society NorCal chapter for designing and creating the new spacesuits, and our sincere appreciation to an anonymous donor for providing funding for the badly-needed upgrades…. READ MORE >

Robert Zubrin on PRI’s Science Friday

Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin will be interviewed on Public Radio International’s Science Friday program this Friday, October 7th, 3:40-4:00 pm EDT (1:40-2:00 pm MDT), to talk about current planning for humans-to-Mars, Elon Musk’s recent announcement and the Mars Society’s Mars 160 simulation mission. Please tune in this Friday at the PRI web site: http://www.sciencefriday.com…. READ MORE >

UK Student Team Wins Gemini Mars Design Competition

A group of students – Team Cranspace – from Cranfield University, a public school in England, won 1st place in the International Gemini Mars Design Competition, with the final round of the contest held last weekend at the 2016 International Mars Society Convention in Washington, D.C. Initiated by the Mars Society in August 2015, the Gemini Mars competition invited engineering students from around the world to design and plan a two-person Mars flyby mission that could be placed on the… READ MORE >

Robert Zubrin Comments on Elon Musk’s Plans for Mars

In his talk today, Musk presented a number of interesting and very useful ideas. I don’t think they are practical in the form he presented them, but with a little modification, they could be made practical and very powerful. He’s right on the mark about using methane/oxygen propellant, which can be made on Mars; about making the spacecraft reusable and refillable on orbit. The key thing I would change is his plan to send the whole trans Mars propulsion system… READ MORE >

SpaceX’s Elon Musk Unveils Interplanetary Spaceship to Colonize Mars

By Mike Wall, Space.com, Sept. 27, 2016 Now we know how Elon Musk plans to get 1 million people to Mars. At a conference in Mexico today (Sept. 27), the SpaceX founder and CEO unveiled the company’s Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), which will combine the most powerful rocket ever built with a spaceship designed to carry at least 100 people to the Red Planet per flight. If all goes according to plan, the reusable ITS will help humanity establish a… READ MORE >

*LIVE* – Elon Musk’s Plans for Mars via Webcast

Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to Address IAC  Tuesday, Sept. 27th, 14:30-15:30 ET SpaceX Founder, CEO and Lead Designer Elon Musk will discuss the long-term technical challenges that need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars. The technical presentation will focus on potential architectures for sustaining humans on the Red Planet that industry, government and the scientific community can collaborate on in the years ahead. Watch it live… READ MORE >

[Video] ‘The Journey of the University Rover Challenge’

Each year for the past decade, student engineering teams from around the world have been preparing themselves for 12 months of designing and building the next generation of Mars rovers. These enthusiastic student teams compete in an annual competition called the University Rover Competition (URC), held at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah. The journey of URC for engineering students is an extremely difficult task but out of it, they receive valuable experience with very rewarding… READ MORE >

Mars 160 Mission – Today’s the Day!

MARS 160 Mission – TODAY’S THE DAY! A beautiful morning outside of the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah. Our Mars 160 crew is in final prep for the beginning of their unique 160-day dual desert-Arctic simulation mission scheduled to start this evening. The first half of the extended analog will consist of 80-days in sim at the MDRS, while the second phase will include an additional 80-day stint in sim at our Flashline Mars Arctic… READ MORE >

Mars Society’s Red Planet Radio Podcast is Live!

The Mars Society has officially relaunched its Red Planet Radio podcast, now a weekly interview series, at: http://radio.marssociety.org. Listen to discussions with Dr. Robert Zubrin, President and founder of the Mars Society, Thomas Myers, a prominent science blogger at “The Physics of SpaceX,” Lucinda Offer, Executive Director of the Mars Society and Dr. Andrew Rader, Mission Manager at SpaceX and a social media celebrity. Sharing co-hosting responsibilities for Red Planet Radio will be Bill Hargenrader, founder of Facebook’s popular I… READ MORE >

ONE WEEK until 2016 International Mars Society Convention

Live Streaming of Convention Plenaries, Debates & Panels Available The Mars Society will be convening its 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. September 22-25, just weeks prior to the U.S. presidential and congressional elections. Leading scientists, government officials, commercial space representatives, policymakers and space advocates will address the four-day conference on the latest updates about Mars exploration, planning for a human mission to the Red Planet and other major space news…. READ MORE >

ERC 2016 Winners Announced

The Mars Society wishes to congratulate all of the student teams that participated in the 2016 European Rover Challenge (ERC). It was a hard and grueling contest, with participants giving it their all. From dozens of teams involved in the international conteste, the top three winners were: + 1st Place – Raptor (Poland, Lodzkie University of Technology) + 2nd Place – Impuls (Poland, Swietokrzyskie University of Technology) + 3rd Place – McGill Robotics (Canada) We also want to extend our… READ MORE >

Mars Society Chapter Involved in NASA Spaceward Bound Expedition

Mars Society Australia, led by Dr. Jonathan Clarke, helped coordinate a NASA Spaceward Bound expedition to Ladakh in northwestern India last month. The mission carried out astrobiology, astrogeology and human factors research along with educational and public outreach events. There were over 30 participants from India, Australia, the U.S., Azerbaijan, the U.K., Spain and Sweden, with organizations representing MSA, NASA, JPL, Blue Marble, ESA, IISER, BMIS and BSIP. Support was provided by Tata Motors and Inspired Journeys…. READ MORE >

Mars Society to Relaunch Red Planet Radio Podcast

The Mars Society will be re-launching its popular online podcast, Red Planet Radio, beginning Monday, September 19th, three days before the start of the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, being held this year at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Upcoming episodes of the new broadcast will feature interviews with Dr. Robert Zubrin, President and founder of the Mars Society, Thomas Myers, a prominent science blogger at The Physics of SpaceX, Lucinda Offer, Executive Director of the Mars Society and… READ MORE >

Debate on NASA Planetary Protection at 2016 Mars Society Convention

NASA’s Office of Planetary Protection is intended to “promote the responsible exploration of the solar system by implementing and developing efforts that protect the science, explored environments and Earth.” This has been a long-standing policy within the agency, but some are beginning to question the need for such confining guidelines when pursuing planetary exploration and, in particular, the search for life on the planet Mars. Critics of planetary protection view NASA’s current policies, intended to safeguard Mars against biological contamination… READ MORE >

Mars 160 Crew Patch Unveiled by Mars Society

The Mars Society unveiled today the official crew patch for its Mars 160 mission, a twin desert-Arctic analog project using both of the organization’s field research stations – the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) located in southern Utah and the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island in northern Canada. Mars 160 is an extended Mars surface simulation involving a unique program of field exploration, using the same crew to carry out similar science operations for the same… READ MORE >

Major Mars Rover Contest & Robotics Congress to be Held in Poland

More than 300 young engineers from around the world are scheduled to participate in the Third Annual European Rover Challenge (ERC), a major international Mars rover contest powered by the Mars Society and held in Podkarpackie, Poland. ERC is Europe’s largest rover-robotics competition that brings together students to design and build the next generation of Mars rovers. Along with the ERC, the first ever European Robotics Congress will be convened September 10-13, 2016 at the Exhibition & Congress Center of… READ MORE >