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Mars Society Convention to Host 4 Scientists Involved in NASA Perseverance Mission

Since its landing in Jezero Crater on the planet Mars in February 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover has been racking up achievement after achievement, including driving 2.6 kilometers over rough Martian terrain, collecting and preparing rock samples for a return mission to Earth, and using the Ingenuity helicopter for aerial exploration.    To keep the global community up-to-date about Perseverance and its scientific results, the Mars Society has invited four leading NASA-JPL scientists to give virtual plenary talks about the mission,… READ MORE >

JPL’s Vandi Verma to Give Update on Rover Mission Navigation at Mars Society Convention

Dr. Vandi Verma, JPL Supervisor of Operable Robotics for Mars Perseverance and Mars Curiosity, will provide a virtual update about navigating the two rover missions on the surface of Mars during the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, set for October 14-17, 2021. Dr. Verma joined JPL’s Mobility and Robotics Systems Section 14 years ago, 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… READ MORE >

Roving Mars: Advancing Machines Explore the Red Planet

By Lawrence Klaes, Guest Writer, The Mars Society If there is one highlight among many that the Twenty-First Century can be noted for when it comes to space exploration, it is as the era when the automated rover really took off – and all over – the planet Mars. At this moment, there are three functioning multi-wheeled explorers making their way across different parts of the Red Planet, their suites of instruments gleaning what they can about their new homes… READ MORE >

Robots Are No Substitute For Human Space Exploration (Blog)

By Evan Plant-Weir, Senior Writer, Red Planet Bound Blog Space exploration is not just about gathering data. By and large, the last few hundred days on Earth are not going to be remembered fondly. Few will recall the COVID-19 years with a sense of happy nostalgia. Ultimately, however, this time won’t be entirely defined by the beating we took at the hands of a pandemic. Despite the many tragedies and challenges therein, we still managed to pull off some pretty… READ MORE >

Build a Robot Base on Mars [Zubrin]

By Dr. Robert Zubrin, SpaceNews, 04.07.21 The key is developing a 10-ton lander The triumphant landing of the Perseverance rover has inspired all Americans, and indeed much of the world. President Biden should follow it up by launching the program to send humans to Mars. While robotic rovers are wonderful, they cannot resolve the fundamental scientific questions that Mars poses to humanity, which relate to the potential prevalence and diversity of life in the universe. The early Mars was very much like… READ MORE >

Mars Society Hosting Facebook Watch Party for Perseverance Landing

The Mars Society will be hosting a virtual Facebook Watch Party for the upcoming landing of NASA’s Perseverance Rover on the surface of the planet Mars. Launched on June 30, 2020, “Percy” is scheduled to set down on February 18th inside the 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero Crater, where it will then begin its mission to explore the nearby area in search of signs of past and present life. We invite you to mark the arrival of the latest Mars rover by joining our live Facebook… READ MORE >

URC Director Kevin Sloan to Provide Update at 2020 Virtual Mars Society Convention

Kevin Sloan, long-time Director of the Mars Society’s University Rover Challenge, will give a presentation about the URC program and plans for next year’s rover design competition (this summer’s URC was postponed due to COVID-19) during the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 15-18. As the premier robotics competition for college students from around the world held annually at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, URC challenges student teams to design and build the next generation… READ MORE >

ERC 2020 shows how to persevere in a post-pandemic world, embracing curiosity & seizing opportunity

The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across all branches of the economy worldwide; leaving some of them profoundly impacted for the foreseeable future. The space industry has not been insulated from the virus either and some Space 4.0 start-ups have declared bankruptcy. The most important events of the space year were at best rescheduled and at worst canceled indefinitely. What brings a little consolation is the fact that the companies whose employees could work from home made that shift quite… 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 >

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 >

Honeybee Robotics VP to Discuss Planetary Drilling at Mars Society Convention

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Kris Zacny, Vice President & Director of Exploration Technology at Honeybee Robotics, will speak about planetary drills and sampling systems on Mars and the Moon during the 22nd Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for October 17-20 at the University of Southern California. Honeybee Robotics is a long-time supporter of NASA’s exploration missions. The company’s systems for drilling, coring and physical sampling of Mars, the Moon, and asteroids are designed to support scientific inquiry and… READ MORE >