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[NBC News] Robert Zubrin Wants to Establish a ‘New Branch of Human Civilization’ on Mars

By Denise Chow, NBC News, 08.19.18 To say Robert Zubrin is passionate about Mars is a bit of an understatement. The 66-year-old aerospace engineer has devoted the better part of his life to thinking about and encouraging the exploration of Mars. In 1998, Zubrin co-founded The Mars Society, a Lakewood, Colorado-based nonprofit, and in the years since has become an outspoken advocate for the establishment of a permanent settlement on Mars — and a harsh critic of what he considers NASA’s stagnant… READ MORE >

Mars Society Convention Hosting Panel on Hulu Series The First

Mars Society Convention Hosting Panel on Hulu Series The First The Mars Society is pleased to announce that it will be hosting an exciting and timely panel discussion on the new Mars-driven Hulu original series, The First, as part of its 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center. Actors Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone lead an ensemble cast in this near-future drama about a crew of astronauts attempting to become the… READ MORE >

STILL TIME to Register for the 2018 Mars Society Convention

STILL TIME to Register for the 2018 Mars Society Convention With a little more than one week until the beginning of the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018, there is still time to register online for this major space conference to be held at the Pasadena Convention Center. The four-day International Mars Society Convention will include a series of plenary talks, panel discussions and public debates on issues of great importance to the humans-to-Mars effort, as… READ MORE >

Mars Society Convention to Host VR & Mars Panel

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that a special panel discussion entitled Virtual Reality & Mars will be held at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention on Saturday, August 25th (11:30 am) at the Pasadena Convention Center. A five-person panel will give a presentation about the Mars Society’s new MarsVR program and how virtual reality has quickly become a serious research tool to support and promote planning for human Mars exploration. Supported through a recent crowdfunding campaign, the… READ MORE >

Updated 2018 Mars Society Convention Schedule Online

An updated itinerary for the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention is now available for viewing on the organization’s web site. The program schedule includes a series of plenary talks, panel discussions and public debates on issues of great importance to the humans-to-Mars effort, as well as other space-related news. Some of the areas of discussion will include the future of U.S. Mars exploration, an update on the Mars InSight mission, the debate over planning for the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, the past, present and… READ MORE >

Preliminary Itinerary for 2018 Mars Society Convention Online

The preliminary itinerary for the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention is now available for viewing on the organization’s web site. The program schedule includes a series of plenary talks, panel discussions and public debates on issues of great importance to the humans-to-Mars effort, as well as other space-related news. Some areas of discussion will include the future of U.S. Mars exploration, an update on the Mars InSight mission, the debate over planning for the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, the past,… READ MORE >

Dual Deadline for 2018 Mars Society Convention Lands on June 30th

The 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, the organization’s primary public forum on human Mars exploration, will be convened August 23-26, 2018 at the picturesque Pasadena Convention Center in southern California. The Mars Society convention brings together leading scientists, engineers, aerospace industry representatives, government policymakers and journalists to talk about the latest scientific discoveries, technological advances and political-economic developments that could help pave the way for a human mission to the Red Planet. This Saturday (June 30th, 5:00 pm MDT)… READ MORE >

MarsVR Milestone Completed: MDRS Has Been Fully Scanned!

The Mars Society is pleased to report that a technical team visiting the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah as part of the preparation for the MarsVR program has completed all of its virtual scans ahead of schedule. Fully-funded by a May 2018 Kickstarter campaign, MarsVR will provide a fully interactive virtual reality platform for serious research to support human Mars exploration and pre-sim crew training. Over 15,000 high-resolution photos of the terrain around the MDRS facility have been… READ MORE >

Honeybee Robotics VP to Discuss Martian Water Drilling at the 2018 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Kris Zacny, Vice President and Director of Exploration Technology Group at Honeybee Robotics, will give a plenary talk about plans for drilling for water on the surface of Mars at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center. A 13-year veteran of Honeybee Robotics, Dr. Zacny is a leading expert in terrestrial and extraterrestrial robotic drilling, excavation, sample handling and processing, geotechnical… READ MORE >

NASA Planetary Scientist to Review Mars Rover Missions at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Abigail Fraeman, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will provide a detailed review of several Mars rover missions, including Curiosity and Opportunity, and planning for Mars 2020 at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA. Her experience with NASA missions to the Red Planet are extensive, having served as Deputy Project Scientist for the Mars Exploration… READ MORE >

JPL Mars Helicopter Chief Engineer to Address Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Bob Balaram, Chief Engineer for the Mars Helicopter project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will give a plenary talk at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA. Now slated to fly on aboard NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission, the Mars Helicopter is a small, autonomous rotorcraft that will demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red… READ MORE >

University Rover Challenge Title Returns to Poland

The University Rover Challenge (URC) awarded the title of World’s Top Mars Rover to the PCz Rover Team from the Czestochowa University of Technology in Poland on June 2.  The 2018 rendition of URC hosted 35 rovers and more than 500 students from ten countries at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah.  URC is an annual Mars Society competition which asks college students to design and build the world’s best Mars rover. The defending champions from 2017,… READ MORE >

Winner of 2018 Mars Society Poster Contest Announced

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2018 Mars Society Poster Contest is Bill Wright of Maryland (U.S.). The selection committee received over two dozen design submissions this year for review. Graphic artists were asked to submit a poster using the theme “Mars & The Space Revolution” for the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center. As always, the winning design will be used by the… READ MORE >

Louis Friedman to Discuss Political History of Humans-to-Mars at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Louis Friedman, a prominent scientist, author and co-founder of The Planetary Society, will give a plenary talk about the political history of the humans-to-Mars effort at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center. The address will focus on the attention that planning for human Mars exploration has received from past U.S. administrations ranging from President Nixon to the present. As the… READ MORE >

Final Mission Report – MDRS Crew 195

MDRS Crew 195 Final Mission Report Commander Dana Levin 25.05.18 The latest iteration of our Martian Medical Analogue Research Simulation course went extremely well. Our crew seemed to enjoy the simulations and clearly learned a lot about aerospace medicine, the Martian environment and operational procedures throughout the course. We continue to be grateful to the Mars Society for the opportunity to use this facility and all the resources it offers in our educational efforts. The major challenged we encountered were… READ MORE >

WE DID IT!! MarsVR Kickstarter Reaches Its Funding Target!!

Thanks to your help, we are very happy to announce that late last night the Mars Society reached (and surpassed) its MarsVR Kickstarter goal of $27,500!!  There are new stretch goals available to boost our MarsVR project and its scope even further, with a few days still remaining in the Kickstarter campaign. If we raise $35,000, we will increase the amount of terrain we will have in the Phase 1 virtual environment by 25%. That means instead of one square… READ MORE >

Liquid Water on Mars (Mars Society’s Red Planet Pen Blog)

By Nicole Willett (Mars Society Education Director) Red Planet Pen Blog (Issue #39) Introduction Scientists have carefully studied and tracked the history of water on the Red Planet.  It is now widely accepted due to the geomorphological evidence that Mars had an ocean of liquid water billions of years ago.  This ocean covered the northern hemisphere. This is indicated by the lower altitude of the surface, smoother and geologically newer surface of the northern hemisphere, as opposed to the higher… READ MORE >

NASA Kilopower Chief Designer to Speak at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. David Poston, the chief designer of NASA’s new Kilopower space nuclear power reactor, will give a plenary talk to the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, which will be held at the Pasadena Convention Center, August 23-26, 2018. The Kilopower project is a near-term technology effort to develop preliminary concepts and technologies that could be used for an affordable fission nuclear power system to enable long-duration stays on planetary surfaces, including… READ MORE >

A Message from Dr. Robert Zubrin regarding the MarsVR Program

Hello Everyone, Virtual Reality and the creation of VR tools to support the human exploration of Mars is a strategic focus of The Mars Society. We intend to demonstrate the potential of VR to allow millions of people to directly participate in Mars exploration. Our VR tools will support the training of our crews at the Mars Desert Research Station, promote STEM education, and will help instill broad public support of human Mars exploration. To this end, we have established… READ MORE >

Call for Volunteers for Sirius Mission

The Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP), jointly with Human Research Program NASA (HRP NASA), will be conducting an extended duration lunar mission simulation at its facility in Moscow in 2019 and 2020. The mission, known as Sirius, will involve a crew of six, including three Russians and three non-Russians. IBMP has  asked the Mars Society to recruit the three non-Russian crew members. The mission duration will be four months during 2019 and eight months in 2020. Crew members will need to be available… READ MORE >

Advice to the New NASA Administrator

Demand a Purpose-Driven Space Program On April 19, 2018, Jim Bridenstine was finally confirmed as the new NASA administer, taking over the agency after more than a year (arguably more than nine years) of leaderless drift. Now that the one-time Navy pilot and Oklahoma congressman has had a few weeks to settle into his office and see what is going on, I feel it is an opportune time to offer some advice. So here it is: Dear Administrator Bridenstine; Congratulations… READ MORE >

Mars Society Convention to Receive TESS Update from Project Manager Jeff Volosin

Always keeping an eye on the sky beyond the Red Planet, the Mars Society is pleased to announce that Jeffrey Volosin, Project Manager of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), will provide the upcoming 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention with a full update on the new mission to search for exoplanets. Launched last month, the TESS spacecraft is expected to monitor more than 200,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits, with… READ MORE >

Finalists Chosen for Red Eagle Student Engineering Contest

The finalists have been selected for the Mars Society’s Red Eagle International Student Engineering Contest. The competition, open to student engineering teams from around the world, is to design a lander capable of delivering 10 metric tons of payload to the Martian surface. Out of 15 teams entering, five have now been selected to compete in the final round before a panel of distinguished judges on Saturday, August 25th at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, which is being… READ MORE >

Mars Society Chapter Opens in Ukraine

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that a new international chapter – Mars Society Ukraine – was officially established today during an inaugural meeting in Kiev. Approximately 20 people gathered to hear Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin address the group (via Skype) about current planning for human Mars exploration. For more details about Mars Society Ukraine, please visit the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marssocietyua…. READ MORE >

A Call to Former MDRS Crew Members

The Mars Society has welcomed approximately 1,000 crew members to its Mars Desert Research Station in Utah over the past 15 (+) years. Many former crew members have obviously moved on to other schools, institutions and companies in pursuit of their professional careers and research goals.   We’re in the process of updating our MDRS crew alumni list and would appreciate any former crew member reading this announcement to reach out to us to provide your current contact information (name,… READ MORE >