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MDRS Behind the Scenes (Virtual Tour)

Embark on a virtual tour of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah, organized by Mars Society Chicago, the national organization’s Chicagoland chapter! On Sunday, May 26th at 1:00 pm PT / 4:00 pm ET, join Sergii Iakymov, the Director of MDRS and a seasoned analog astronaut, for an immersive online event. With extensive experience leading crew missions and serving as the Assistant Director of MDRS, Sergii offers invaluable insights into life and work in this very Mars-analog… 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 >

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 >

37 Teams Advance to 2023 University Rover Challenge Finals!

After the most competitive System Acceptance Review in University Rover Challenge (URC) history, a record 37 teams from 10 countries will compete at the URC2023 Finals, scheduled to be held June 1-3, 2023 at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah! 104 teams (also a record) began the year competing for a coveted invitation to the URC Finals. Teams submitted both written reports as well as video demonstrations of their rovers, which were scored by URC’s… READ MORE >

Final Mission Summary (MDRS Crew 275)

Crew 275 – ISAE-Supaero (France) Crew Commander: Jeremy RabineauExecutive Officer / Crew Engineer: Quentin RoyerCrew Journalist: Marie DelarocheHealth & Safety Officer: Corentin SenauxCrew Botanist: Adrien TisonCrew Scientist: Alice ChapironCrew Astronomer: Alexandre Vinas Introduction      Crew 275’s rotation on the MDRS campus marks the 10thh time that students from ISAE-Supaero perform research in this station. We are very proud of the progress made between Crew 151, when two Supaero students joined an existing crew, and today: a fully student-run crew, conducting research over… READ MORE >

MDRS Crew 269 to Appear on Red Planet Live Podcast

We’re glad to announce that members of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 269, led by their commander Dr. Kristine L. Ferrone, are set to appear on the next episode of the Mars Society’s Red Planet Live (RPL) podcast, scheduled for Tuesday, March 21st (5:00 pm PT / 8:00 pm ET). A monthly one-hour video podcast hosted by Ashton Zeth, RPL brings together the people instrumental in planning for the exploration and eventual settlement of the red planet, covering a… READ MORE >

From Classroom to Mars: A Teacher’s Experience with NASA Spaceward Bound Utah

By Jen Carver-Hunter, Veteran Educator, NASA Spaceward Bound Utah Spaceward Bound Utah (SWB) is a NASA-funded program at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah. The purpose of SWB is to inspire future space explorers by providing a Mars analog experience for classroom teachers. Each SWB cohort brings together a group of 6-8 educators with varied professional experience from Utah, across the country, and even internationally. The most recent SWB cohort, Crew 271, spent an engaging,… READ MORE >

San Diego Chapter Head Gerry Williams – R.I.P.

The Mars Society is sad to announce that long-time member and head & co-founder of the organization’s San Diego chapter Gerry Williams passed away on Friday, February 17th. An advocate of human spaceflight, Gerry was active in support of the goal of humans to Mars for decades in southern California, organizing chapter events, including a monthly Mars Movie Night, along with San Diego Vintage Sci-Fi and other film screenings at his studio and on location. As part of this, he… READ MORE >

Mars Society Promotes Dr. Shannon Rupert to New Position of Senior Director, Analog Research

It is with excitement that the Mars Society announces the promotion of Dr. Shannon Rupert from her long-time role as Director of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah, the world’s largest and longest-running Mars analog facility, to the newly created role of Senior Director of Analog Research for the Mars Society. In this new role, Dr. Rupert will oversee a new Remote Science Team that will support the MDRS analog crews and will lead our efforts to… READ MORE >

Getting It Done at MDRS!!

A new paper published by Andrew Terhorst & Jason A. Dowling in a leading science journal, Space: Science & Technology, cites our Mars Desert Research Station (Utah) as having published the second most peer-reviewed papers of any analog station around the world (with Mars-500 coming in first place) and with the MDRS facility having the most varied types of research. “The Mars-500 missions and the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) analogue generated the most peer-reviewed research publications (151 and 123 publications, respectively)…. READ MORE >

Final Mission Summary – MDRS Crew 269

The following is the final summary report of Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 269 (The Aerospace Corporation). A full review of the 2022-23 MDRS field season and crew activities will be presented at the 26th Annual International Mars Society Convention next year. The Aerospace Corporation Demo-1 Crew 269 Commander (CDR): Dr. Kristine Ferrone Executive Officer (XO): Allison Taylor Health & Safety Officer (HSO): Barbara Braun Crew Engineer (ENG): Ashley Kowalski Green Hab Officer (GHO): Matthew Eby Technology Officer (TECH): Trevor Jahn Crew 269… READ MORE >

Final Mission Summary – MDRS Crew 268

MDRS Crew 268 was an all-woman multi-national mission sponsored by the Mars Society. Planning for this mission commenced in 2020, so we were excited to arrive at the Mars Desert Research Station on November 13th and begin the journey. Some crew members have had their sights set on MDRS as early as 2012! CrewCommander: Dr. Jennifer Hesterman (United States)Executive Officer/Scientist: Jas Purewal (United Kingdom)Health and Safety Officer: Elizabeth Balga (United States)Biologist & Greenhab Officer: Caitlyn Hubric (United States)Engineer: Judith Marcos… READ MORE >

Seeking On-Site Management for MDRS (Utah)

The Mars Society is seeking applications from qualified people for onsite 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 participate in our analog research & educational programs here. We are presently taking applications for Station Managers beginning immediately.   You must be able to… READ MORE >

A Public Reminder about MDRS

Located in southern Utah, the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is a private scientific facility used by trained crew members to carry out important research and field studies to help future human explorers on Mars. Our MDRS field season, which includes rotating analog crew missions on site, begins at the end of October 2022 and concludes in early June 2023. MDRS does not offer public touring of the facility or campus. People are allowed to pass by from Cow Dung… 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 >

U of Michigan Wins URC Competition!

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that the Michigan Mars Rover Team (University of Michigan) has won the 2022 University Rover Challenge, the world’s premier Mars robotics competition for college students, with 388.97 points! Way to go, Wolverines! Coming in second place was the Monash Nova Rover (Monash University, Australia) with 380.55 points, and third place was taken by the Mars Rover Design Team (Missouri University of Science & Technology) with 370.71 points. All 36 student teams did a… 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 >

Relativity Space Becomes a URC Sponsor

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Relativity Space, a Los Angeles-based aerospace company, has joined the growing ranks of official sponsors of our University Rover Challenge (URC), the world’s premier Mars robotics competition for college students held annually at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. Relativity is at the forefront of software-defined manufacturing, using 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and autonomous robotics to revolutionize how rockets are built and flown. The company intends to develop the world’s first entirely… 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 >

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 >

MDRS in Español

Estamos muy emocionados de anunciar que en enero del 2023 realizaremos nuestras primeras misiones análogas completamente en español en el Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) en Utah. Todas las posiciones para las dos tripulaciones están abiertas. Los aplicantes deben tener fluidez en español hablado y escrito. Además, deben tener, como mínimo, habilidades de conversación en inglés. También estamos buscando personal de apoyo remoto para la misión como Oficial de Comunicación o CapCom. Comuníquese con Atila Meszaros, Director Asistente de MDRS,… 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 >

Presentation on (Non-Crew) Biology Research at MDRS during the Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that a special one-hour virtual presentation entitled “Is There Life Out There: Current Biological Research at the Mars Desert Research Station” (MDRS) in Utah will be held during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention on Friday, October 15th from 7:30-8:30 pm PT. A group of four experts led by MDRS Director Dr. Shannon Rupert will highlight several long-term research projects that are being conducted at the MDRS facility, including new research looking… 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 >