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

By Evan Plant-Weir 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… 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

By Evan Plant-Weir 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… READ MORE >

MDRS to Host Its First Ever Middle School Crew for Field Studies

Most visiting crews to our Mars Desert Research Station come for a two-week analog mission and consist of researchers, members of academia, or university students. In recent years however #MDRS has opened its doors occasionally to younger groups of would-be Mars explorers, including high school students. Beginning tomorrow (December 9th), a team made up of middle school students from Ogden Preparatory Academy in northern Utah will be participating in a three-day mini-sim on campus. Led by an educator who participated… READ MORE >

Mars Society Appoints New Full-Time Executive Director

The Mars Society is very pleased to announce that James L. Burk has been appointed as the organization’s new full-time Executive Director, supervising the group’s world-wide efforts to promote the human exploration and settlement of the planet Mars. In this role, James will oversee the organization’s fundraising efforts and high-level networking, lead and coordinate volunteers and chapters, both in the U.S. and around the world, and coordinate any organizational involvement in informing government representatives about humans-to-Mars. Commenting on his new position, James… READ MORE >

Red Planet Live to Welcome Space Journalist Leonard David on Dec. 2nd

The Mars Society is glad to announce that veteran space journalist & author Leonard David will be joining host Ron Craig on our Red Planet Live (RPL) video podcast on Thursday, December 2nd at 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET for a wide-ranging talk about Mars exploration, a return to the Moon, the commercial space industry, and other space related topics.  Currently serving as Space.com’s Space Insider columnist, Leonard has been reporting on space activities for over 50 years, publishing articles in Scientific American, SpaceNews… READ MORE >

Support the Mars Society on Giving Tuesday (Nov. 30th)

Next week is Giving Tuesday, an international day of charitable gifting that occurs on the Tuesday after the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving.  As the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy group dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, the Mars Society leads the way in educating and informing the public, the media, and the government about the importance of exploring Mars and planning for an eventual permanent human presence there. Included in the Mars Society’s mission are: Mars… READ MORE >

Tourists a (Major) Problem at Mars Analog Site (Article)

Dr. Shannon Rupert, Space.com, Nov. 3, 2021 Dr. Shannon Rupert is an ecologist and educator who has spent more than 20 years doing Mars analog research. She is the longtime director of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), which is owned and operated by The Mars Society. MDRS hosts researchers who conduct their work while in a simulation, living as if they were on Mars. For more details about the MDRS program, please visit: mdrs.marssociety.org. Dr. Rupert contributed this article to… READ MORE >

Mars Society UK to Host Mars Analogue Conference in 2022

Save the Date(s)! Mars Society UK, an international chapter of the Mars Society, is proud to present the Conference on Human Analogue Space Missions (CHASM), taking place at the University of Cambridge, UK on April 1-3, 2022. Analogue space mission crews from around the world are invited to present their missions, goals, and meet fellow international analogue crews. The aim of this recurring conference is to develop the analogue astronautics community, foster international relationships, and boost productivity of individual missions… READ MORE >

Mars Society Selects New Chapters Coordinator

The Mars Society is very pleased to announce that Raksha Kammandore Ravi of Melbourne, Australia has been selected to be the organization’s next Chapters Coordinator. She will be responsible for providing support to Mars Society chapters in the U.S. and around the world and assisting with the formation of new chapters. Raksha is a graduate student studying computer science at the University of Melbourne and is also an intern with the engineering team of the Melbourne Space Program. In addition,… READ MORE >

2021 Virtual Mars Society Convention Application is Now Open

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that its virtual experience for the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17, 2021, is now available for all attendees.  The International Mars Society Convention presents a unique opportunity for those interested in the planet Mars to come together and discuss the science, technology, social implications, philosophy, and a multitude of other aspects of Mars exploration. Powered by the Attendify software that was used last year, this virtual experience allows… READ MORE >

U of Hong Kong Scientist to Discuss China Mars Planning at 2021 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Joseph Michalski, an Associate Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Science, will give a plenary address on Thursday, October 14th at 8:30 pm PT about China’s plans for exploring the planet Mars during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention. The title of his virtual talk will be “How China’s Exploration Ambitions are Helping to Shape the Future of Mars Exploration.” As a trained geologist… READ MORE >

Mars Society Convention to Host 4 Scientists Involved in NASA Perseverance Mission

Since its landing in Jezero Crater on the planet Mars in February 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover has been racking up achievement after achievement, including driving 2.6 kilometers over rough Martian terrain, collecting and preparing rock samples for a return mission to Earth, and using the Ingenuity helicopter for aerial exploration.    To keep the global community up-to-date about Perseverance and its scientific results, the Mars Society has invited four leading NASA-JPL scientists to give virtual plenary talks about the mission,… READ MORE >

Former NASA Astronaut José Hernández to Discuss Future of Space Exploration at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that José M. Hernández, former NASA astronaut and President & CEO of Tierra Luna Engineering, LLC, will give a virtual address about “the Future of Space Exploration” during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention on Sunday, October 17th at 1:00 pm PT / 4:00 pm ET.   Beginning in 2001, Mr. Hernández served for a decade with NASA, initially at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, working as a materials research engineer… READ MORE >

Presentation on (Non-Crew) Biology Research at MDRS during the Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that a special one-hour virtual presentation entitled “Is There Life Out There: Current Biological Research at the Mars Desert Research Station” (MDRS) in Utah will be held during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention on Friday, October 15th from 7:30-8:30 pm PT. A group of four experts led by MDRS Director Dr. Shannon Rupert will highlight several long-term research projects that are being conducted at the MDRS facility, including new research looking… READ MORE >

Pro-Mars, Pro-Human

By Evan Plant-Weir There is something curious at the heart of Mars settlement cynicism. Some specific, underlying mindset appears to be driving many critics of humans-to-Mars. Paradoxically, an awareness of that mindset can help us better understand the value of our multi-planetary future. Have you noticed it? Their language frequently resonates with a kind of knee-jerk pessimism. It feels like the sort of response usually elicited when somebody is confronted with an idea that they would rather not actually consider…. READ MORE >

Deputy NASA Administrator Pamela Melroy to Address 2021 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is very pleased to announce that Pamela Melroy, Deputy NASA Administrator, will give a virtual keynote address on Saturday, October 16th at 9:00 am PT on “NASA’s Path to Mars” during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 14-17. As Deputy Administrator, Ms. Melroy performs the duties and exercises the powers delegated by the Administrator, assists the Administrator in making final agency decisions, and acts for the Administrator in his absence by performing all… READ MORE >