Students to Debate ‘Mars or Bust?’ at 2023 Mars Society Convention

During the 26th Annual International Mars Society Convention, set for October 5-8, 2023 at Arizona State University (Tempe), the Mars Society and Debate to Educate will be convening the final round of a special debate held virtually on the issue of “Mars or Bust?” involving middle school and high school students from around the world. Debate to Educate, a prominent non-profit group that organizes international educational debates, and the Mars Society have scheduled a series of online debates on whether… READ MORE >

Mars Society Convention to Host First Annual Analog Research Poster Contest

The Mars Society announced today that it will be holding the First Annual Analog Research Poster Contest during the 26th Annual International Mars Society Convention, set for October 5-8, 2023 at Arizona State University (Tempe). Organizers are inviting all Mars analog scientists and crew members to submit their research in poster form for consideration. Unlike traditional events, those participating in the contest will not be required to attend the conference in person, but instead can just forward their poster design…. READ MORE >

RPL Podcast to Welcome Rover Challenge Panel to Next Episode

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Kevin Sloan, Director of the Mars Society’s University Rover Challenge (URC), and several student team participants will be joining Red Planet Live host Ashton Zeth on Tuesday, August 15th (5:00 pm PT) to talk about the recent rover competition held in Utah, robotics, and STEM education. Launched in 2006, URC is the world’s premier robotics competition consistently drawing talented and promising university students from around the world. Held annually in the desert of… READ MORE >

Update about Mongolia’s Partnership with the Mars Society & Its Growing Involvement in Space

The Mars Society is pleased to bring you several updates about the growing partnership between the Mars Society and Mongolia’s MARS-V Project, an initiative in Mongolia to build the next Mars analog simulation station in the Gobi Desert. The MARS-V Project has recently become the Mars Society’s first official chapter in Mongolia. This new initiative signifies the country’s alignment with a global community of scientists, researchers and space enthusiasts. As one of the coldest and most inhospitable deserts on Earth,… READ MORE >

NASA MEP Deputy Director Tiffany Morgan to Address Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Tiffany M. Morgan, Deputy Director of the Mars Exploration Program in NASA’s Science Directorate, will be giving a plenary address during the 26th Annual International Mars Society Convention at Arizona State University (Tempe), set for October 5-8, 2023. The title of her talk will be “Exploring Mars Together, DRAFT Plan for a Sustainable Future for Science at Mars”. In her current role at the agency, Ms. Morgan provides program leadership in exploring… READ MORE >

Back on Mars! Crew Arrives at FMARS on Devon Island for 4-Week Mission

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Crew 15 has safely arrived on Devon Island in northern Canada to begin a four-week mission at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) involving scientific testing and field studies, along with repair and maintenance work on the main hab. The crew, a five-person multi-national team from the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, will spend the first week at FMARS working to upgrade the facility, with the remaining days used… READ MORE >

Scientist Wolfgang Fink to Outline Mars Cave & Lava Tube Exploration & Comms during Mars Society Convention

With growing interest among the global scientific community in investigating caves and lava tubes on the Red Planet, the Mars Society has invited Dr. Wolfgang Fink, a senior researcher from the University of Arizona and CalTech, to give a plenary talk about this field of exploration during the 26th Annual International Mars Society Convention October 5-8, 2023 at Arizona State University (Tempe). The title of Dr. Fink’s plenary address during the convention will be: “To boldly go where no robot… READ MORE >

Multi-National Crew to Visit FMARS (Canada) for Upgrade Work & Science Mission

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that a five-person crew will be visiting the organization’s Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island in northern Canada in mid-July 2023 in order to reactivate the facility and conduct a two-week simulation in one of the most Mars-like environments on Earth just 900 miles from the North Pole. A multi-national team from the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, designated as Crew 15, will spend approximately 7-10 days working… READ MORE >

2023 Mars Society Convention to Welcome Honeybee Robotics VP Kris Zacny

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Kris Zacny, Vice President and Director of Exploration Technology at Honeybee Robotics, will address the 26th Annual International Mars Society Convention (October 5-8 at Arizona State University) about robotic space exploration and mining. Honeybee Robotics is a prominent R&D engineering company that creates advanced robotic systems for the most demanding environments and applications, both on Earth and in space. Industries served include spacecraft, planetary exploration, defense robotics, medical devices, mining, oil and gas,… READ MORE >

Here Be Radioactive Dragons and Other Stories

A Guest Post for the Red Planet Bound Blog by Kris Davidson, Crew Journalist for Transatlantic MDRS Crew 261 During the zenith of the Age of Exploration, spanning the 14th to 16th centuries, a captivating sway of the monstrous and mythical prevailed over cartography. This period, signified by insatiable curiosity, saw audacious explorers venturing into uncharted territories. The maps of that era, intricate renderings of the known and the unknown, served as essential tools for navigation and understanding Earth’s expansive… READ MORE >

Popular Science Communicator Emily Calandrelli to Join Red Planet Live

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Emily Calandrelli (widely known as The Space Gal), a popular science communicator, author, and television host-producer, will be joining our next Red Planet Live podcast on Tuesday, July 18th (4:30 pm PT / 7:30 pm ET). An MIT engineer turned Emmy-nominated science television personality, Emily is the host and co-executive producer of Emily’s Wonder Lab on Netflix, as well as a correspondent on Netflix’s Bill Nye Saves the World and host of… READ MORE >

Dean Cheng to Outline China Space Program at 2023 Mars Society Convention

With the growth of China’s space program in recent years and the potential for global competition in orbit and beyond, the Mars Society has invited Dean Cheng, senior advisor to the U.S. Institute of Peace’s China program, to give a plenary talk about Beijing and it plans for space exploration during the 26th Annual International Mars Society Convention October 5-8, 2023 at Arizona State University (Tempe). Mr. Cheng joined USIP from The Heritage Foundation, where he spent over a decade… READ MORE >

Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin to Speak in Kyiv & Cracow

Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin will speak on Sunday, June 18th at the InScience Conference in Kyiv. InScience is the largest science gathering held in Ukraine yearly. The theme of this year’s conference is “Science for Victory, Science to Rebuild Ukraine.” The title of Dr. Zubrin’s talk will be “Victory from Space.”  Following the talk, Dr. Zubrin will take part in a number of private meetings and do some press interviews as well. He and his wife Hope will… READ MORE >

[Updated] Registration for 2023 Mission to Mars Student Competition Extended

The Mars Society is launching its second annual International Mission to Mars Engineering Design Competition this summer for high school students from around the world. Students are encouraged to register online for this unique exploratory design challenge. Update: Please note that the deadline for registering for the 2023 Mission to Mars educational program has been extended until Friday, July 7th (5:00 pm MT), at which time student teams will be formed. Update: Both this year and last year’s Lectures are… READ MORE >

Red Planet Live to Welcome JWST’s Marcia Rieke to Discuss Astronomy & Answer Questions

The Mars Society’s Red Planet Live podcast is pleased to announce that Dr. Marcia Rieke, a senior investigator for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope currently in orbit above the Earth, will join the show on Tuesday, June 20th (5:00 pm PT / 8:00 pm ET) to talk about astronomy, the search for exoplanets, and other issues related to deep space exploration. Dr. Rieke is a Regents Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, with research interests including infrared observations… READ MORE >

Team Mountaineers Crowned URC2023 Champion!

After 3 days of incredible competition, the 2023 University Rover Challenge (URC2023) crowned a new champion, Team Mountaineers from West Virginia University in the U.S.! This was the first URC podium finish for Team Mountaineers, and the second consecutive victory by a team from the United States. Also for the second consecutive year Monash Nova Rover (Monash University, Australia) finished in second place. The BYU Mars Rover team from Brigham Young University (USA) finished in third place. Team Mountaineers (West… READ MORE >

[Op-Ed] A Declaration of Decadence

By Dr. Robert ZubrinQuillette, 05.30.23 The French historian Fernand Braudel remarks in Out of Italy that “decadence” is what occurs in a civilization when it rejects the ideas and ideals responsible for its origin and growth. In her recently published book, Astrotopia: The Dangerous Religion of the Corporate Space Race, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Professor of Religion and Science in Society at Wesleyan University, offers just such a bold rejection of everything that Western humanist civilization stands for or has ever stood for. If you… READ MORE >

SpaceFund Founder Rick Tumlinson to Address 2023 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Rick Tumlinson, Founder of SpaceFund, Earthlight Foundation, Space Frontier Foundation, and New Worlds Institute, will give a plenary talk during the 26th Annual International Mars Society Convention at Arizona State University (Tempe), scheduled for October 5-8, 2023. Listed as one of the top 100 influential people in the global space field, Mr. Tumlinson is a true space visionary and entrepreneur, having helped coin the term “NewSpace” and worked to create the new… READ MORE >

Mars Society’s Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Book Now Available Online

The Mars Society’s latest publication, “Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design: New Ways to Explore Mars”, a 152-page paperback / e-book published by Polaris Books and edited by Frank Crossman, is now available for purchase online at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.  In January 2022, the Mars Society announced the holding of an international contest – Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition – for the best design plan of diverse teams of specialized robots using a 10-metric ton Mars lander, an essential requirement… READ MORE >

James Burk to Join Red Planet Live Days after MDRS Analog Mission

Red Planet Live will be welcoming James Burk, Mars Society Executive Director and veteran analog astronaut, to the show just days after the completion of Crew 261’s two-week simulation, which he is currently commanding at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah until May 13th. Join us three days later – Tuesday, May 16th (5:00 pm PT / 8:00 pm ET) – for another one-hour podcast episode hosted by Ashton Zeth to learn from James about his and the crew’s mission “on Mars”…. READ MORE >

Brightest Lights of NewSpace to Appear at ISDC in Texas May 25-28

The brightest lights of NewSpace are scheduled to appear in Frisco, Texas on May 25-28 at the National Space Society’s 2023 International Space Development Conference (ISDC). NSS’s annual space conference will bring together some of the best minds in space exploration, spaceflight technologies, development, and settlement planning. For the 2023 four-day event, this includes, among others, Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, retired NASA astronaut, engineer, and educator • Jared Isaacman, founder of Polaris Dawn and Mission Commander for the Inspiration4 orbital flight… READ MORE >

Mars Society Chicago Working on Unique EVA Link System for MDRS & Beyond

Initiated last year by Mars Society Chicago, a chapter of the Mars Society, a team of volunteers are working on developing a unique comms system for use at the organization’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah that would enable coordinated real-time field science between physical analog research facilities and virtual reality digital twins. The goal of the project – known as EVALink – is to improve science, situational awareness, and crew member safety at analog research facilities, such… READ MORE >

Mars Society Calls for Creative Designs for its 2023 Poster Contest!

The Mars Society welcomes its membership, students, space enthusiasts, and the general public to participate in this year’s challenge by designing and submitting an original poster for consideration.  The winning design will be used as the primary promotional graphic for the Mars Society’s main outreach event of the year – the Annual International Mars Society Convention, which will take place from October 5-8, 2023 at Arizona State University in Tempe. This year’s convention theme, “Mars for All,” focuses on the… READ MORE >

Book Recommendation: The Case for Nukes by Robert Zubrin

Book Review by James Burk, Executive Director of the Mars Society Dr. Robert Zubrin’s latest book, The Case for Nukes, provides a sweeping history of energy technology advances and presents a compelling and detailed defense of one of humanity’s most promising yet misunderstood sources of energy. Many positive reviews are coming in, such as this one from Reason magazine, and I want to join those who are hailing this as an influential and thought-provoking work. In addition to promoting nuclear… READ MORE >

Mars Society Hails Starship Flight Test

The Mars Society today congratulated SpaceX for the first flight test of its fully reusable Starship space launch system. The test flight, which for the first time launched the Starship upper stage integrated with its Superheavy booster, was, by a factor of two, the most powerful rocket launch in human history. Lasting over three minutes, the flight test revealed numerous issues with the system, including insufficient protection of the launch infrastructure, failures during launch or flight of eight out of… READ MORE >