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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 >

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 >

Mars Society to Hold International High School Mars Mission Design Class & Competition

The Mars Society will hold an international high school student Mars Mission Design Class & Competition this summer. The virtual class will be a unique experience, allowing high school students from around the world to take part in an educational activity modelled on the design course now practiced by the best world-wide university engineering departments. A university design class differs greatly from a typical college class. Instead of being taught some material by a professor and then being tested on… 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 >

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 >

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 >

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 >

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 >

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 >

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 >

Watch Red Planet Live Episode 4 on Sept. 14!

Come join our Red Planet Live video podcast on Tuesday, September 14th at 6:00 pm Pacific / 9:00 pm Eastern for an amazing look inside the awesome technology that the Mars Society is working on! During the first half of the show, Ron Craig will be interviewing James Burk, Mars Society IT Director, about some of the technology initiatives that he and his team are spearheading, including the MarsVR project, the innovative aspects of the organization’s virtual convention scheduled for… READ MORE >

Tune in This Week to Red Planet Live for a Discussion about Careers in STEM!

Do you have a strong interest in pursuing a career in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related field? Are you a young adult following a traditional path and getting ready to take your first step at the university level or perhaps you’re already well on your way? Maybe you are a more seasoned adult looking to pivot to STEM after already pursuing other career choices? Red Planet Live is going to explore both options, although much of the… READ MORE >

Sponsor the 2021 Mars Society Convention!

The Mars Society invites potential sponsors to support the 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled to be held virtually October 14-17, 2021. Last year’s online Mars Society convention was a record-breaking success, with 1 million live stream viewers and over 10,000 attendees. 150 speakers gave presentations and also participated in panel discussions and public debates. The four-day virtual event will feature a variety of key experts in the fields of government, business, academia, military, media, and philanthropy who will… 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 >

Mars Society Presents Red Planet Live Video Podcast

We are pleased to introduce our new Red Planet Live video podcast – a raw, off the cuff look into all things Mars. We will talk with planetary scientists, STEM industry experts, members of academia, and space advocates who all have a deep passion for the Red Planet. Ron Craig will host the show on behalf of the Mars Society, and will lead and moderate tantalizing discussions with our guests every month as we dig into the questions and work being… 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 >

Participate in the 2021 Mars Society Poster Contest

Support Mars Advocacy & Show Us Your Creativity The Mars Society, the world’s largest space advocacy group dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, invites members, friends, students, space advocates, and the general public to submit a creative poster for consideration as part of its annual design competition. As always, the winning poster design will be used as the primary promotional graphic for the organization’s main event of the year – the 24th Annual International Mars… READ MORE >

MarsVR & Occupy Mars Game Announce New Partnership

The Mars Society’s MarsVR team are beginning a new Indiegogo Update series that will feature one of our partners each week for the duration of our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and beyond! The first partner to be mentioned in detail is Pyramid Games. It’s a game development studio currently working on an open-world Mars survival game: Occupy Mars. They have been hard at work on this project for a couple of years. Starting today, if you select our “Place a Name” pledge level for… READ MORE >

New Sketchfab Model of MDRS Campus for MarsVR

Greetings MarsVR Backers & Crowdexplorers! As part of the promotion of our ongoing MarsVR crowdfunding campaign, the Mars Society is releasing new 3-D models of its Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah that have been captured by our team as part of the MarsVR project. We are releasing the first new model, which is an annotated view of the entire MDRS campus exterior.  This is now live on Sketchfab, a 3-D modelling site, and we plan to make it available… 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 >