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A New Star Rising at MDRS

By Dr. Peter Detterline Director, MDRS Observatory   There is a new star rising at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) that allows crew and professional astronomers, as well as college and high school students, the ability to incorporate cutting edge technology to explore the wonders of the universe. The MDRS Robotic Observatory works in a similar manner as today’s modern facilities, and indeed as an observatory would work on the Red Planet someday in the future.  No one physically… READ MORE >

Support the Mars Society’s End-of-Year Campaign!

As we near the end of 2018, the Mars Society would like to take a moment to pause and reflect on what keeps our mission going. It’s you. We extend our sincere appreciation to you – as members and donors – for supporting the Mars Society. We couldn’t accomplish what we do without you. As the largest and most influential space advocacy group dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, the Mars Society is committed to expanding its… READ MORE >

We Have the Technology to Build a Colony on the Moon. Let’s Do It. [R.Zubrin & H.Hickam]

By Robert Zubrin & Homer Hickam The Washington Post, 12.10.18 Robert Zubrin is president of the Mars Society and Pioneer Astronautics and the author of “The Case for Mars.” Homer Hickam is a former NASA engineer and the author of multiple books, including the memoir “Rocket Boys,” which was made into the film “October Sky.” Late last year, President Trump directed NASA to “lead the return of humans to the moon.” For most folks, the meaning of this was pretty clear: Americans would soon walk on… READ MORE >

Mars Society Establishing New Chapter in Chile

Worldwide interest in human Mars exploration continues to grow, especially in Latin America. To further encourage this, the Mars Society is pleased to announce the establishment of a new chapter south of the equator – Mars Society Chile. The Chile-based chapter will convene its inaugural event on Saturday, December 15, 2018 (16:00 CLST) at the Natural History Museum of Valparaiso. Attendance is open to the public and free of charge. The new chapter will join other Mars Society groups in… READ MORE >

Support the Mars Society on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday (November 27th), is a day designated in the U.S. and internationally to give back to the causes we care about most. Last year, our Mars Society community joined together to help us raise a significant amount of funds to support our organization’s mission of promoting human Mars exploration. In the coming year, the Mars Society intends to further expand its Mars surface simulation programs in Utah and Canada, broaden its annual international… READ MORE >

AMA (Reddit) with Mars Society President Robert Zubrin

With growing public interest in the exploration of Mars and a human mission to the Red Planet, the Mars Society invites you to participate in a special AMA (Ask Me Anything) r/Space session with its president and founder Dr. Robert Zubrin on Friday, November 16th at 1:00 pm MST (3:00 pm EST / 8:00 pm GMT). As a top Mars advocate and one of the world’s leading experts on planning a mission to Mars and eventual human settlement of our… READ MORE >

Moon Direct: A Purpose-Driven Plan to Open the Lunar Frontier [R.Zubrin]

By Dr. Robert Zubrin, President, The Mars Society The American human spaceflight program, armed with a clear goal, stormed heaven in the 1960s. But for almost a half-century since, it has been adrift, spending vast sums of money with no serious objective beyond keeping various constituencies and vendors satisfied. If it is to accomplish anything, it needs a real goal. Ideally, that goal should be sending humans to Mars within a decade. But after all these years of stagnation and… READ MORE >

Mars Colony Prize – Design the First Human Settlement on Mars

The Mars Society is holding a special contest called The Mars Colony Prize for designing the best plan for a Mars colony of 1000 people. There will be a prize of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second and $2500 for third. In addition, the best 20 papers will be published in a book – “Mars Colonies: Plans for Settling the Red Planet.” The Mars colony should be self-supporting to the maximum extent possible – i.e. relying on a minimum mass of… READ MORE >

Sign Up Today for 2019 University Rover Challenge

You’re invited to participate in the Mars Society’s 2019 University Rover Challenge, the world’s premier Mars rover competition for college students. Held annually in the desert of southern Utah at the Mars Desert Research Station, URC challenges student teams to design and build the next generation of Mars rovers that will one day work alongside human explorers on the Red Planet. The next URC competition is scheduled for May 30 – June 1, 2019. The deadline for student team registration… READ MORE >

Apply as Crew Member for MDRS 2019-20 Season

There’s still time to apply as a crew member for the 2019-20 field season at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah.   Owned and managed by the Mars Society, MDRS is the largest and longest-running Mars analog facility on our planet supporting research in pursuit of the technology, operations and science required for human space exploration.   To sign up, please visit: http://mdrs.marssociety.org/apply-to-field-season. The deadline for crew registration is Monday, November 5th (5:00pm MST). For any… READ MORE >

Mars Society Launches Shop@Mars Online Store

The Mars Society announced during last week’s 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention in Pasadena, California the premiere of its new online store, Shop@Mars, offering a variety of popular Mars Society-related items for sale. Typical in-demand Mars Society products such as pins, patches, magnets, water bottles, coffee mugs and t-shirts are currently available, as well as more unique items like a Mars tie and Mars-oriented holiday cards.  Plans are already underway to expand the product catalog to include flags, caps,… READ MORE >

[Zubrin] Why an Orbiting Moon Station is the Worst Idea of the New Space Age

By Dr. Robert Zubrin The New Scientist, 08.29.18, Commentary US Vice President Mike Pence says a habitable base orbiting the moon will be built and in use by 2024. It’s a pointless distraction, warns Mars Society president Robert Zubrin Before last weekend’s Mars Society convention, a reporter asked me what I thought of the Trump administration’s plan to send astronauts to the moon. No doubt he expected me to explain why the Red Planet is a much more suitable goal, but I… READ MORE >

Timely Debate on Lunar Orbit Platform-Gateway at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that a formal debate on NASA’s proposed Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a human-tended facility in orbit around the Moon, will be held at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention on Thursday, August 23rd at 8:00 pm in the Pasadena Convention Center’s main ballroom. The discussion will involve the following proposition: “Resolved: The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway is the right next step for NASA’s human spaceflight program to take to support the human exploration and development of space.”  Speaking… READ MORE >

[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 >