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30 Student Teams Advance to 2016 URC Semi-Finals

In December 2015, a record 63 teams from 12 countries set out to design and build the world’s top Mars rover as part of the University Rover Challenge. Now 30 teams have advanced past the Critical Design Review (CDR) stage of the URC contest and will participate in the field competition, being held June 2-4, 2016 at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah. The 2016 rendition of this contest, URC2016, introduces the first ever Semi-Final round… READ MORE >

Mars Society Reaches Facebook Milestone

Guess what!! The Mars Society’s official Facebook page just topped 20,000 “Likes”, showing the growing public support of the group and its goal of exploring Mars and creating a permanent human presence on the Red Planet. The organization and its staff want to thank everyone who has visited the Facebook page and helped reach this important social media milestone. On to 30,000!!  … READ MORE >

France’s MDRS Crew 164 Files Final Mission Report

The following is the final report of Mars Desert Research Station Crew 164. A full review of this year’s MDRS activity will be given at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. MDRS Crew 164 Final Report February 21 – March 5, 2016 Website: http://mdrssupaerocrew.com/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/mdrssupaero Twitter: @MDRSSupaeroCrew Crew 164, the MDRS Supaero Crew is comprised of six students from ISAE-Supaero, a leading Aerospace Engineering school… READ MORE >

Register Today for the 2016 Mars Society Convention

Register Today for the 2016 Mars Society Convention Early Bird Ticket Prices Are Now Available Online registration for the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention is now open! Scheduled to be held at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. from September 22-25, the Mars Society conference will provide a major platform for leading scientists, policymakers, government officials, entrepreneurs and journalists to discuss the significance of the latest scientific discoveries, technological advances and political-economic developments that could open the… READ MORE >

MDRS Hosts Two Fox News Media Visits

With public interest in Mars exploration and a human mission to the Red Planet growing, due in part to the success of 20th Century Fox’s movie, “The Martian”, with Matt Damon, two Fox News crews visited the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah in late January. Fox 13 (Salt Lake City) and Fox 31 (Denver) sent reporters and film teams to the MDRS habitat to learn more about the Mars Society program and the activities of the… READ MORE >

2016 Mars Society Poster Contest is Underway

We Need Your Creativity and Involvement! The Mars Society is looking for fun, creative design submissions for its annual poster contest, with the winning entry to be used as the primary promotional graphic for the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. When designing a poster, participants are asked to incorporate the main theme of the Mars Society convention into their layout. This year’s theme will be:… READ MORE >

Mars Desert Research Station Crew 161 (Team Skoltech) Issues Final Report

The following is the final report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 161. A full review of this year’s activity at the MDRS habitat will be presented at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled to be held September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. A call for papers for the 2016 convention has also been issued, with full details available on the Mars Society web site. MDRS Crew 161 Final Report Crew… READ MORE >

Mars Desert Research Station Crew 160 Files Final Report

The following is the final report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 160. A full review of this year’s activity at the MDRS habitat will be presented at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled to be held September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. A call for papers for the 2016 convention has also been made, with details available on the Mars Society web site (www.marssociety.org).   Mars Desert Research Station Crew… READ MORE >

It’s Never too Late to Fulfill Your Childhood Dreams (Issue #34)

By Bob Bruner Guest Blogger, Red Planet Pen, #34 Bob Bruner is an amateur scientist that has attended all the ‘Case for Mars’ conferences given by the Mars Underground in the 1980’s and 1990’s and joined the Mars Society at its founding.  This story is a case of an amateur scientist actually having an impact on NASA decisions for its next big mission to Mars, the Mars 2020 rover, by suggesting a specific mineral to cache and return to Earth… READ MORE >

A Year-End Message from Dr. Robert Zubrin

Dear Mars Society Supporter, It has truly been an exciting year for Mars and human space exploration with NASA’s announcement of the Journey to Mars program that includes a human mission to the Red Planet, astronaut Scott Kelly starting a one-year mission on board the ISS, the highly-publicized debut of “The Martian” movie, the successful growth of SpaceX and the commercial space industry, and NASA’s recent confirmation of water on the surface of Mars. For the first time since humans… READ MORE >

Mars Society Applauds SpaceX on Historic Rocket Landing

The Mars Society, its staff and membership commend SpaceX, its founder, Elon Musk, and its team of scientists and engineers on the successful landing of the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral. SpaceX brought the rocket back to Earth for a soft touchdown, marking the first-ever rocket landing during an orbital launch. This major accomplishment proves launch vehicle re-usability, a pivotal event that will move humanity one step closer to exploring the solar system, and with… READ MORE >

Save the Date – 2016 Mars Society Convention in Washington, DC

The Mars Society will convene its 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention on the beautiful tree-lined campus of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. from September 22 – 25, 2016. The main convention events will take place in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. The four-day conference will bring together leading scientists, engineers, policymakers, government officials, entrepreneurs and journalists to address the significance of the latest scientific discoveries, technological advances and political-economic developments that could open the way… READ MORE >

Why Mars?

Among planetary bodies in our solar system, Mars is singular in that it possesses all the raw materials required to support not only life, but a new branch of human civilization.  This uniqueness is illustrated most clearly if we contrast Mars with the Earth’s Moon, the most frequently cited alternative location for extraterrestrial human colonization. In contrast to the Moon, the Red Planet is rich in carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen, all in biologically readily accessible forms such as carbon… READ MORE >

Mars Society Facebook Group Discussion Page Hits Milestone

We’re pleased to announce that the Mars Society’s group discussion page on Facebook has achieved an important milestone – reaching 10,000 members. Our social media presence on Facebook continues to be a great source for interesting discussion, commentary and postings on issues related to Mars exploration and planning for humans-to-Mars. If you’re not already a member of our Facebook group discussion page, please consider joining! https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheMarsSocietyUS/… READ MORE >

ISS Astronaut Calls MDRS

Members of Crew 156 stationed at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah received a special phone call earlier today from, of all places, Earth orbit. NASA astronaut and physician Dr. Kjell Lindgren, currently serving on the International Space Station (ISS), reached out to the MDRS crew for a short chat. According to MDRS crew commander Ben Easter, Dr. Lindgren spoke with members of the crew about some of his experiences so far during his five months… READ MORE >

Mars Society Appoints Director of Volunteers & Chapters

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Florence Maisch, the organization’s Volunteer Coordinator since September 2013, has been appointed to the newly-created post of Director of Volunteers & Chapters. As part of this new position, Mrs. Maisch will supervise volunteer recruitment and placement for the organization, as well as outreach and coordination between the Mars Society and its U.S. and international chapters. A resident of the Chicagoland area, Mrs. Maisch is a long-time proponent of Mars and space exploration,… READ MORE >

MDRS 2015-16 Begins!

Good evening. The Mars Society is very glad to announce that the 2015-16 Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) field season has begun. Crew 155, a six-person team led by veteran commander Paul Bakken, arrived “on Mars” yesterday, beginning a two-week field rotation, which will involve daily work and research as part of the Mars Society’s Mars surface simulation program in Utah. Congratulations to the crew, and let’s make this a terrific year for our world-class MDRS program. For daily updates about… READ MORE >

Be a True Space Advocate!

The Mars Society and the Space Exploration Alliance (SEA), a growing network of major space advocacy groups, including the Planetary Society, the National Space Society and Explore Mars, will be organizing and hosting the 2016 Legislative Blitz on February 21-23 in Washington, D.C. The annual March-on-Capitol Hill event will bring dozens of volunteers, including Mars Society members, to our nation’s capital to help educate members of Congress and their staff on the importance of human and robotic space exploration, the… READ MORE >

How Scientifically Accurate is The Martian?

Robert Zubrin / Interview The Guardian (UK), October 6, 2015 Overall it’s a very good movie, and while there are mistakes in it, it is the first genuine Mars movie. It is the first movie that attempts to be realistic and that is actually about human beings grappling with the problems of exploring Mars, as opposed to various movies set on Mars that are essentially either shoot ’em ups or horror films. It does not engage in fantasy: no monsters,… READ MORE >

A Martian Odyssey: We Can Do It

The exploration and settlement of Mars is one of the great challenges of our time — a point strongly underlined by Monday’s announcement of the discovery of potentially life-holding liquid water on that planet — so it is not surprising that there have been many good novels investigating its possibilities. There have, however, been no worthwhile movies on the subject. True, there have been a fair number of big-budget extravaganzas that nominally involve Mars, but these have been simply a… READ MORE >

MDRS Hosts Bloggers Covering 20th Cen. Fox’s The Martian

The Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), the world’s longest-serving Mars surface simulation habitat located in southern Utah, played host to a group of twelve international entertainment and science bloggers last weekend. Organized by 20th Century Fox, one of the largest U.S. film studios, the media visit to MDRS was set up as part of the company’s ongoing effort to promote the Ridley Scott-directed film, The Martian, which is due out in theaters October 2nd. During the two-day visit,… READ MORE >

Let’s Show Our Mars Society Presence at “The Martian”

T-Minus 10 Days and Counting… Let’s Show Our Mars Society Presence at “The Martian” Win 2 tickets to our next Mars Society convention in D.C.!! Fellow Martians, Here is an opportunity to represent the Mars Society and share with others your support for a human mission to the Red Planet. “The Martian” hits movie theaters in the United States on Friday, October 2nd, and we would love to see photos of you, your family, your friends, your chapter attending the… READ MORE >

Mars Society Announces International Gemini Mars Design Competition

Students to propose design concepts mission to open the path to the Red Planet Introduction The U.S. human spaceflight program is currently adrift. It needs a goal, and that goal should be sending explorers to Mars in our time. In order to help provide such direction and get a real humans to Mars program underway, the Mars Society is launching an international student engineering  contest to design the Gemini Mars mission, creating a plan for a two-person Mars flyby that… READ MORE >

Mars Society Announces New Initiatives Following Steering Committee Meeting
Mars Society logo

During the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, held in mid-August in Washington, D.C., the Mars Society convened its Steering Committee and decided on a number of major initiatives for the coming year. These include: + The Mars Society will attempt to intersect the political ferment associated with the now unfolding U.S. presidential campaign to mobilize its American members and chapters to take every opportunity to meet all presidential hopefuls while they are out on the campaign trail, as well… READ MORE >

Mars Society Washington, D.C. Conference a Great Success

The 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention held at the Catholic University of America August 13-16, 2015 was a great success. Some 250 people attended to hear over 80 presentations covering all aspects of Mars exploration, including the latest robotic missions, human expeditions and settlement of the Red Planet and Mars habitability. By most accounts, the high points of the four-day conference were two dramatic debates conducted on the evenings of Thursday, August 13th and Friday, August 14th. The first was… READ MORE >