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Exciting Program Itinerary for 2020 Virtual Mars Society Convention Now Online

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that its tentative program itinerary for the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, being held via the Internet Thursday-Sunday, October 15-18, has been released on its web site. With 3,500 people currently scheduled to attend the virtual conference, along with 150 speakers, the Mars Society invites you to join this important event next month to learn about current Mars exploration, plans for a human mission to the Red Planet in the near future… READ MORE >

Semi-Finalists Chosen for Mars City State Design Contest

20 semi-finalists have been chosen for the Mars Society’s Mars City State Design Competition. The semi-finalists include teams from the U.S., Australia, France, China, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Canada, Indonesia, India, the United Kingdom, Austria, Spain and Germany. In February 2020 the Mars Society announced the holding of an international contest for the best design plan of a Mars city state of 1,000,000 people. There will be a prize of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, $2,500 for third, $1,000 for… READ MORE >

JPL Mars Systems Engineer to Participate in Virtual Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to welcome Dr. Farah Alibay, a veteran JPL Systems Engineer involved in multiple Mars exploration missions, as a virtual speaker during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. Since 2014, Dr. Alibay has worked on a variety of NASA missions, spanning the phases of development, from early mission concepts to integration and testing all the way to cruise and surface operations. These include: GNC-Mobility Systems Engineer for the Mars Perseverance rover,… READ MORE >

MDRS Director Shannon Rupert to Discuss Simulating Life on Mars at 2020 Virtual Convention

Dr. Shannon Rupert, long-time Director of the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, will give a virtual address entitled “Once a Martian, Always a Martian: Demographics and Stories of the People who have Crewed MDRS” during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18.  She will be sharing an analysis of the demographics of the researchers who have served as crew at the station over the last twenty years and providing some stories about… READ MORE >

NASA Mars Helicopter Chief Engineer Bob Balaram to Speak at 2020 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to welcome Dr. J. Bob Balaram, Chief Engineer for NASA’s Mars Ingenuity helicopter, currently en route to the Red Planet as part of the Mars Perseverance rover mission, to the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. A 25-year veteran of Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Balaram has led the development of the Mars helicopter project, which is intended to demonstrate technologies needed for flying in the Martian atmosphere. If successful, these… READ MORE >

JPL Mars Operable Robotics Supervisor to Address Virtual Mars Society Convention

Dr. Vandi Verma, JPL Supervisor of Operable Robotics for the Mars Perseverance and Mars Curiosity missions, will discuss navigating rovers on the Martian surface during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. Dr. Verma joined JPL’s Mobility and Robotics Systems Section in 2007, with research interest in robotic software that enables autonomy and commanding under uncertainty for coordinated manipulation, mobility, sampling and science. Since 2008, she has been driving Mars rovers (MER, MSL) and operating the… READ MORE >

‘Halfway to Mars’ – Mars Society Releases New Song Celebrating Humanity’s Recent Achievements in Space

In light of recent achievements in space and our continued efforts as a species to get humans on to the surface of the Red Planet, the Mars Society is thrilled to release an inspiring new song, ‘Halfway to Mars‘, that celebrates the work of the pioneers of Mars and hopes to inspire all of us to strive even harder. The idea for the song came about three months into the COVID-19 lockdown, when opera singer Oscar Castellino, in a chat… READ MORE >

2020 Virtual Mars Society Convention to Host Senior Mars Scientists

The Mars Society, the world’s largest space advocacy group dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, will be convening its 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention on October 15-18, 2020 for our global community via the Internet. Through the use of unique technology provided by the TMRO company of Anaheim, CA, it will be possible to not only hold presentations, panel discussions and debates, but also to allow people from around the world to participate, posing… READ MORE >

Mars 2020 Scientist Michael Hecht to Discuss Oxygen-Making at Virtual Mars Society Convention

With NASA’s Perseverance rover on its way to the Red Planet as of this morning, the Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Hecht, Principal Investigator for the mission’s MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) project, will be joining us (virtually) during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, set for October 15-18.    One of the main goals of Perseverance will be to explore the habitability of Mars and its environment, with the intention of laying… READ MORE >

Mars Society to Welcome MEPAG Chair R.A. Yingst to 2020 Virtual Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. R. Aileen Yingst, Chair of MEPAG (Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group), a body chartered by NASA headquarters to assist in planning the scientific exploration of the Red Planet, will give a virtual address during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. The title of Dr. Yingst’s plenary talk will be “Mars for the Next Decade:  A Report from the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group.” As a senior… READ MORE >

Former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin to Speak at 2020 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael D. Griffin, former NASA Administrator, will be joining us (virtually) as a plenary speaker during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. The title of his address will be “Towards a Destination Driven Space Program.” Dr. Griffin served as head of the U.S. space agency under President George W. Bush. During this time, he focused on creating a more ambitious space strategy, which included the unveiling… READ MORE >

Judges Needed for Mars City State Design Competition

The Mars Society announced in February 2020 the holding of an international contest for the best design plan of a Mars city state of 1,000,000 people. No less than 175 teams have entered the global competition. There will be a prize of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, $2,500 for third, $1,000 for fourth and $500 for fifth. In addition, the top 21 papers will be published in a new book “Mars City States: New Societies for a New… READ MORE >

Mars InSight Project Scientist to Join 2020 Mars Society Teleconvention for Update

Dr. Mark Panning, Project Scientist and Co-Investigator for NASA’s Mars InSight lander, currently operating on the Martian surface, will be joining us virtually to provide a mission update during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. After spending almost a decade at the University of Florida in the geological sciences division, Dr. Panning joined JPL in 2017 to focus on planetary interiors using seismology. He is also Co-Investigator on the Dragonfly mission to Titan, currently in… READ MORE >

Interstellar Lab CEO Barbara Belvisi to Give Address during 2020 Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Barbara Belvisi, Founder and CEO of Interstellar Lab, Inc. will give a virtual plenary talk during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18, 2020. Established in 2018, Interstellar Lab’s mission is to develop and build bio-regenerative habitats and life-support solutions to make human life sustainable on Earth, as well as on Mars and other planets in our solar system. Ms. Belvisi started her career as an investment manager… READ MORE >

CSF Chairman Taber MacCallum to Give Plenary Talk during Mars Society Teleconvention

Taber MacCallum, Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) and co-founder and CTO of World View Enterprises, will give a virtual plenary talk during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, set for October 15-18. Prior to World View, Mr. MacCallum served as co-founder, CEO and CTO of Paragon Space Development Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of hazardous environment life support equipment. During his tenure at Paragon, Mr. MacCallum served as the CTO and safety officer for Alan Eustace’s world… READ MORE >

JPL Deputy Project Scientist to Give Update about Mars Rover Missions at Mars Society Convention

Dr. Abigail Fraeman, a planetary scientist and deputy project scientist for NASA-JPL’s Curiosity rover mission, will provide an update about the space agency’s Mars rover missions during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. Her experience with NASA-JPL missions to the solar system are extensive, including having served as co-investigator for the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), principal investigator for NASA Development & Advancement of Lunar Instrumentation, co-investigator for NASA Planetary Data Analysis &… READ MORE >

Los Alamos Nuclear Engineer David Poston to Address 2020 Mars Society Teleconvention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. David Poston, leader of the Compact Fission Reactor Design Team at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, will give a virtual plenary talk during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. Dr. Poston’s research team at Los Alamos is responsible for the design and development of nuclear fission reactors for NASA, civilian and defense applications in space. As part of this, he serves as the Chief Reactor Designer… READ MORE >

Senior Engineer for Mars 2020 Rover to Address Mars Society Teleconvention

Dr. Sarah Milkovich, lead Science Systems Engineer for NASA-JPL’s Mars Perseverance rover, scheduled to launch this July, will give a virtual update about the mission to the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, set for October 15-18. During her 14 years at JPL, Dr. Milkovich has specialized in science planning and operations for landed and orbital spacecraft, geomorphology and planetary science research, science communication and the ability to handle nebulous problems. Prior to the Mars 2020 rover mission, she served… READ MORE >

Call for Papers (2020 Convention)

Presentations for the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention in October are invited dealing with all matters (science, engineering, politics, economics, technology, public policy, etc.) associated with the exploration and settlement of the planet Mars. Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent by Friday, July 31st (5:00 pm MT). Those submissions received after the deadline may not be included in the convention literature and are lower priority for adding to the final schedule. Those intending to submit an abstract… READ MORE >

NASA’s Chris McKay to Discuss Mars & Astrobiology at 2020 Mars Society Teleconvention

Dr. Chris McKay, a senior planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center and one of the co-founders of the Mars Underground, will give a virtual plenary talk during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. A renowned astrobiologist and expert on planetary atmospheres and terraforming, Dr. McKay’s research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origins of life. He is also involved in planning for future Mars missions including human exploration. He has… READ MORE >

Mars Society to Welcome Peter Diamandis to its 2020 Teleconvention

The Mars Society is pleased to welcome Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Founder and Executive Chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation, as one of its plenary speakers at the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled to be held virtually October 15-18, 2020. Named several years ago by Fortune as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” Dr. Diamandis is an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, commercial space and incentive-based competitions. His X PRIZE initiative is best known for… READ MORE >

Breakthrough Starshot’s Pete Worden to Address 2020 Mars Society Teleconvention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. S. Pete Worden, Executive Director of Breakthrough Starshot, will be joining us virtually as a plenary speaker during our 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention set for October 15-18, 2020. Breakthrough Starshot is a $100 million research and engineering program aiming to demonstrate proof of concept for a new technology, enabling ultra-light unmanned space flight at 20% of the speed of light and to lay the groundwork for a flyby mission to Alpha Centauri within… READ MORE >

Update: Mars Society to Hold 2020 International Teleconvention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention will be convened Thursday-Sunday, October 15-18, 2020 all over the world via the Internet! Through the use of unique technology provided by the TMRO company (Anaheim, CA), it will be possible not only hold debates, panel discussions and presentations, but to allow people from all countries to participate, posing questions and interacting with each other, creating a global teleconvention of a type never before seen…. READ MORE >

Donate to the Mars Society via Amazon

Support the Mars Society while shopping on Amazon during these difficult times. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of AmazonSmile purchases to the Mars Society. To learn more, please visit smile.amazon.com (and remember to select the Mars Society as your charity of choice). Thank you (and Amazon) and stay safe!… READ MORE >

Calling All Martian Redditors!

The Mars Society invites you to join its subreddit page (r/MarsSociety) to learn more about the organization and its efforts to advocate for human Mars exploration, as well as current news about planning for a human mission to the Red Planet. Our direct link is: https://www.reddit.com/r/MarsSociety/new. With almost 2,000 members, the Mars Society’s subreddit account is growing fast and having a major impact on the Reddit space community. Leading group representatives, including its president, Dr. Robert Zubrin, are participating in chats to… READ MORE >