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MDRS Director Shannon Rupert Selected for NASA STAR Program

Dr. Shannon Rupert, field ecologist and long-time director of the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, was notified recently that she has been accepted into Cohort 3 of NASA’s STAR (Spaceflight Technology, Applications and Research) program, beginning in September 2022. A highly competitive 5-month course, STAR is a virtual NASA program for space biosciences training, with annual courses involving principal investigators, senior research scientists, and postdoctoral scholars. The goal of STAR is to facilitate each participant’s entry… READ MORE >

SpaceX’s Starlink Comms System Now Used by Crews at Mars Society’s MDRS in Utah

The Mars Society announced that its Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) management team has installed SpaceX’s Starlink system at its remote campus in southern Utah to help dramatically improve the facility’s communications network used by analog crews involved in on-site simulation training and field studies.  Starlink is a global satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing internet access coverage to dozens of countries around the world, and frequently used in areas where wifi connectivity is typically unreliable or completely unavailable. … READ MORE >

2022-23 MDRS Field Season Announced

With the 2021-22 field season at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah winding down in the coming days, MDRS management, led by its director, Dr. Shannon Rupert, is pleased to announce the crew itinerary* for the 2022-23 field season at MDRS. Congratulations to the crews on being selected, and we look forward to hosting them “on Mars”! 2022 October 1 – 16: MDRS Work Party October 20 – 23: [Off-Site] The 25th Annual International Mars Society… READ MORE >

Hiring: Assistant Director (for remote research station in Utah)

The Mars Society is seeking applications from highly qualified people for management positions at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, the largest and longest-running Mars analog facility in the world.  The station is set amid some of the most spectacular landscapes you will ever see, and researchers come from all over the world to work here. We are looking for assistant directors beginning in October 2022.  You must be able to work in the U.S. and possess a… READ MORE >

Utah NASA Space Grant Consortium Approves 5K Grant for MDRS Classroom Initiative

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the Utah NASA Space Grant Consortium has approved a $5,000 grant request to fund an educational project called “Spaceward Bound Classroom: Bringing Mars to Utah Students,” which focuses on developing a series of labs in a box with engaging science experiments that can be shipped to Utah classrooms when visiting the organization’s Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah is not an option for students. Led by MDRS Director Dr. Shannon Rupert,… READ MORE >

Astrobiologist & Analog Astronaut Reut Abramovich to Join RPL Podcast

The next Red Planet Live video podcast will include a lengthy chat with Dr. Reut Sorek Abramovich, an astrobiologist & educator at the Dead Sea & Arava Science Centre in Israel, co-founder & former chief scientist for Israel’s D-MARS space analog program, and co-founder & current chairperson of Israel’s Mars Society chapter, on Sunday, May 8th (4:00 pm PT / 7:00 pm ET). The interview will focus on the search for life on Mars, in our solar system and beyond… READ MORE >

Invitation: NASA-Funded Utah Teachers Program at MDRS (Dec. 11-17, 2022)

Spaceward Bound is a joint NASA-Mars Society program to train K-12 teachers in how to engage their students in activities that will inspire careers in the space sciences by taking teachers into the field with scientists who are working on space-related research in a given location. First instituted by scientists and researchers at NASA Ames, today researchers involved in that early project are still holding Spaceward Bound field expeditions all over the world. Spaceward Bound Utah is a 5-day workshop… READ MORE >

Mars Society’s MarsVR Now Available for Public Beta on Steam Digital Platform

What you need to know: The first Early Access release of MarsVR, showcasing the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station, is now available to the general public. MarsVR is listed in the Steam directory of VR applications, the main VR content platform, and supports most major brands of VR headsets. This version of MarsVR is a guided tour of the campus and surrounding terrain.  Future versions will add building interiors including objects used in analog space missions as well as… READ MORE >

Executive Director’s Report (02.22) – The Mars Society

We invite you to watch a video report by James L Burk, our new Executive Director, about his first full month in the role. The five-minute video lists a number of key accomplishments achieved since January 1st, such as the announcement of our Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition (TMEDC). James also outlines plans and initiatives for next month, including the official public release of our Mars VR Virtual Reality project. To watch the new video report, please click here. This… READ MORE >

Red Planet Live to Host MDRS Director Shannon Rupert

Please join us on Monday, February 14th at 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET as we welcome Dr. Shannon Rupert to Red Planet Live, the Mars Society’s monthly video podcast! A trained ecologist with more than two decades of experience in Mars analog studies, Dr. Rupert has been the Director of the Mars Desert Research Station since 2009. MDRS is the largest and longest-running Mars surface simulation facility in the world, where 6-7 person crews participate in two-week field… READ MORE >

Mars Society Creates MDRS-FMARS Alumni Group on Linkedin

The Mars Society recently established the MDRS-FMARS Alumni Group on LinkedIn to serve as a place of contact for former crew members who served at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah or the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) in Canada. The new LinkedIn platform will allow former crew members to network professionally, discuss career progress and opportunities, post research and presentations about analog work and related studies, add articles about and photos from past crew missions, and… READ MORE >

‘Coming Soon’ Trailer from MarsVR

The Mars Society’s MarsVR team has released a “Coming Soon” trailer for its MDRS Virtual Reality environment, to be hosted on Steam in the near future. The goal of the MDRS VR project is to create a special training environment for MDRS (Mars Desert Research Station) crew members and the general public in order to learn more about Mars analog science, technology, and procedures. The MarsVR team has been working since 2018 on a digital twin of the real-life MDRS facility located in southern… READ MORE >

MDRS to Host Its First Ever Middle School Crew for Field Studies

Most visiting crews to our Mars Desert Research Station come for a two-week analog mission and consist of researchers, members of academia, or university students. In recent years however #MDRS has opened its doors occasionally to younger groups of would-be Mars explorers, including high school students. Beginning tomorrow (December 9th), a team made up of middle school students from Ogden Preparatory Academy in northern Utah will be participating in a three-day mini-sim on campus. Led by an educator who participated… READ MORE >

Support the Mars Society on Giving Tuesday (Nov. 30th)

Next week is Giving Tuesday, an international day of charitable gifting that occurs on the Tuesday after the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving.  As the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy group dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, the Mars Society leads the way in educating and informing the public, the media, and the government about the importance of exploring Mars and planning for an eventual permanent human presence there. Included in the Mars Society’s mission are: Mars… READ MORE >

Tourists a (Major) Problem at Mars Analog Site (Article)

Dr. Shannon Rupert, Space.com, Nov. 3, 2021 Dr. Shannon Rupert is an ecologist and educator who has spent more than 20 years doing Mars analog research. She is the longtime director of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), which is owned and operated by The Mars Society. MDRS hosts researchers who conduct their work while in a simulation, living as if they were on Mars. For more details about the MDRS program, please visit: mdrs.marssociety.org. Dr. Rupert contributed this article to… READ MORE >

Mars Society UK to Host Mars Analogue Conference in 2022

Save the Date(s)! Mars Society UK, an international chapter of the Mars Society, is proud to present the Conference on Human Analogue Space Missions (CHASM), taking place at the University of Cambridge, UK on April 1-3, 2022. Analogue space mission crews from around the world are invited to present their missions, goals, and meet fellow international analogue crews. The aim of this recurring conference is to develop the analogue astronautics community, foster international relationships, and boost productivity of individual missions… READ MORE >

NorCal Delivers New Spacesuits & Helmets to MDRS

T minus 7 days until the crew field season begins at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station in Utah! NorCal Chapter of the Mars Society continues to refurbish and upgrade our spacesuits for MDRS and its crew members, who carry out important research and field exploration during two-week simulations in the Mars-like terrain of southern Utah. New to this field season, which begins on September 26th, are the 3-D printed neck rings which are HALF the weight of the… READ MORE >

Mars Society Selected to Receive $1 Million from Blue Origin’s Club for the Future

Today, the Mars Society was selected to receive a $1 million grant from Blue Origin’s Club for the Future. This generous grant will allow us to expand all of our activities, including conferences, publications, STEM outreach, engineering competitions, and student participation as crew members at our Mars analog research stations, helping us to learn how best to explore the Red Planet by engaging in comparable field exploration in some of the most Mars-like environments on Earth. “Our recent auction for the first seat on… READ MORE >

Join our Red Planet Live Talk with MDRS Crew 245

The Mars Society invites you to join us this Thursday (July 15th) at 6pm PST / 9pm EST for the next episode of our Red Planet Live video podcast with an amazing discussion with Crew 245 about their recent two-week simulation at the Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah. Participating in the show with our host, Ron Craig, will be the full team – Dylan Dickstein, Commander, Shayna Hume, Executive Officer (XO), Julio Hernandez, Crew Botanist, Shravan Hariharan, Crew… READ MORE >

Three Volunteer Internship Opportunities for 2021-22 MDRS Field Season

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that there are three volunteer internship opportunities available for the upcoming 2021-22 field season at the Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah. Two are student positions which require a minimum month-long commitment on-site, and should be done in collaboration with the student’s academic institution as part of an independent study program. The first opportunity is designed for biology majors and requires the student to be on-site in December 2021 to do field… READ MORE >

Final MDRS Mission Summary – Crew 235

Crew 235, Mars Desert Research Station The following is the final summary report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 235.  At the start of our mission, nine strangers came together with different hopes and expectations, all with the same end goal – come together with other like-minded individuals within the education community and emerge with new skills or ideas. Amazingly, every step of our journey together built the outcome that would meet and exceed everyone’s expectations. Many of the crew interactions… READ MORE >

Can Signs of Life on Mars Indicate the Reopening of Earth? (Sim with MDRS Crew 245)

For over a year, the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) has been nearly as quiet as Mars itself. Normally MDRS is a revolving door for teams of scientists, engineers, physicians, journalists, etc. to research, record, and reflect at one of the leading Martian simulations in the world. MDRS prides itself in being safety first and administration took quick and appropriate action to protect its simulation participants and staff from what the world soon came to know as a global health… READ MORE >

NASA-Funded STEM Opportunity for Teachers in Utah

Spaceward Bound Utah to be held at MDRS Analog Spaceward Bound is a NASA-funded program to train K-12 educators in how to engage their students in activities that will inspire careers in the space sciences by taking teachers into the field with scientists who are working on space-related research in a given location. First instituted by researchers at NASA Ames, today scientists involved in that early project are still organizing Spaceward Bound field expeditions around the world. Spaceward Bound Utah… READ MORE >

An Important Request from Dr. Robert Zubrin

Dear Friend, As many of you know, the theme of the 2020 International Mars Society Convention, held virtually over the course of four days in October, was “Rising Together.” We felt that “Rising Together” was a very poignant call to action as we navigate this global pandemic. We believe that humanity can work together on issues of great importance, especially those that impact our long-term future and survival. The Mars Society strongly believes that becoming multiplanetary is a critically important… READ MORE >

Update: 2020-21 MDRS Field Season

Due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases around the world and, in particular, in the United States and Utah, a decision has been made to delay the beginning of the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station field season until February 2021. According to experts, the next three months are expected to be the hardest of the pandemic, and MDRS management, led by Dr. Shannon Rupert, wants to ensure that all crew members stay safe and well throughout that time…. READ MORE >