The Mars Society is pleased to announce that it has joined the online Marspedia project started by two other space advocacy groups – The Mars Foundation and The Moon Society – in an effort to build out a great resource for people of all ages to learn more about the planet Mars, promote the human and robotic exploration of the Red Planet and encourage STEM education.
The organization is striving to make Marspedia the one-stop shop for all information related to Mars, including: articles describing past historical missions to the planet, current knowledge about Mars, technology related to ongoing exploration, future concepts such as terraforming and plans for human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet.
The Mars Society is taking a leading role in this effort and has formed a Governing Council comprised of representatives of the three organizations, led by Susan Holden Martin, a Steering Committee member and former Executive Director of the Mars Society, along with James Burk, current IT Director for the organization.
In an attempt to expand the Marspedia project, we are currently looking for interested and dedicated volunteers who are able to help us to improve and maintain the online Mars encyclopedia, which takes the form of a “wiki” that anybody can add to or edit once they set up a free user account. We are also in the process of improving the overall design of the encyclopedia, including creating a new, modern logo for the project.
For the improvement of the encyclopedia’s content, an Editorial Subcommittee has been formed and is meeting weekly via teleconference. We need folks to join this subcommittee that have experience with editing and reviewing content, particularly with a science background. In addition, we are always looking for new content that we can add to Marspedia, and can attribute that content with multiple options of content licensing including Creative Commons and public domain.
For technical maintenance and upgrades, a Technical Subcommittee has also been formed and is using the Slack tool for communication. We already have an experienced group of technical experts that has set up and is maintaining the encyclopedia, but we are also on the lookout for experienced software developers and people that are familiar with the platform we are using: Mediawiki. The Mars Society is working to make Marspedia a cutting-edge and technologically advanced resource that has many tools available for our content writers and editors.
To join this important effort, please visit the main Marspedia web page at www.marspedia.org and access the information under “How You Can Help”, including links to the two subcommittees mentioned above. If you have content to share, there is a Submission Form available as well, so you can submit your content and have others post it into the encyclopedia.